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Title: Studies in the Evolutionary Psychology of Feeling
Author: Stanley, Hiram M. (Hiram Miner)
Language: English
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                                 IN THE

                             STUDIES IN THE
                        EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY
                               OF FEELING

                            HIRAM M. STANLEY

           _Member of the American Psychological Association_

[Illustration: colophon]

                         SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO
                        NEW YORK: MACMILLAN & CO

                            BUTLER & TANNER,
                      THE SELWOOD PRINTING WORKS,
                           FROME, AND LONDON.



This work does not profess to be a treatise on the subject of feeling,
but merely a series of studies, and rather tentative ones at that. I
have attempted to deduce from the standpoint of biologic evolution the
origin and development of feeling, and then to consider how far
introspection confirms these results. I am well aware that I traverse
moot points—what points in psychology are not moot?—and I trust that the
position taken will receive thorough criticism. I should be very glad to
have new facts adduced, whatever way they may bear. I have no theory to
defend, but the results offered are simply the best interpretation I
have as yet been able to attain.

Some of the material of this book has appeared during the last ten years
in the pages of _Mind_, _Monist_, _Science_, _Philosophical Review_ and
_Psychological Review_, but my contributions to these periodicals have
in many cases been largely re-written.

                                                   HIRAM M. STANLEY.


                           TABLE OF CONTENTS


                               CHAPTER I

 ON THE INTROSPECTIVE STUDY OF FEELING                               1

                              CHAPTER II

 ON PRIMITIVE CONSCIOUSNESS                                         12

                              CHAPTER III

 THEORIES OF PLEASURE-PAIN                                          35

                              CHAPTER IV

 THE RELATION OF FEELING TO PLEASURE-PAIN                           48

                               CHAPTER V

 EARLY DIFFERENTIATION                                              61

                              CHAPTER VI

 REPRESENTATION AND EMOTION                                         78

                              CHAPTER VII

 FEAR AS PRIMITIVE EMOTION                                          93

                             CHAPTER VIII

 THE DIFFERENTIATION OF FEAR                                       108

                              CHAPTER IX

 DESPAIR                                                           121

                               CHAPTER X

 ANGER                                                             127

                              CHAPTER XI


                              CHAPTER XII

 RETROSPECTIVE EMOTION                                             176

                             CHAPTER XIII

 DESIRE                                                            192

                              CHAPTER XIV

 SOME REMARKS ON ATTENTION                                         225

                              CHAPTER XV

 SELF FEELING                                                      251

                              CHAPTER XVI

 INDUCTION AND EMOTION                                             282

                             CHAPTER XVII

 THE ÆSTHETIC PSYCHOSIS                                            295

                             CHAPTER XVIII

 THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LITERARY STYLE                                  310

                              CHAPTER XIX

 ETHICAL EMOTION                                                   332

                              CHAPTER XX

 THE EXPRESSION OF FEELING                                         345

                              CHAPTER XXI

 CONCLUSION                                                        371

 INDEX                                                             391

                        EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY


                               CHAPTER I

Of all the sciences psychology is, perhaps, the most imperfect. If a
science is a body of knowledge obtained by special research and accepted
by the general _consensus_ of specialists, then psychology is so
defective as to scarcely merit the name of science. This want of
_consensus_ is everywhere apparent, and must especially impress any one
who compares the lack of harmony in manuals of psychology with the
practical unanimity in manuals of botany, geology, physics, and other
sciences. Even in the most fundamental points there is no agreement, as
will be evident in a most summary statement.

It is now something more than a century since the general division of
psychic phenomena into intellect, feeling and will, first came into
repute, but still some psychologists of note do not agree to this
fundamental classification, but would unite feeling and will in a single
order. As to the subdivisions of feeling and will we are confessedly
wholly at sea. In intellect it is only on the lower side, sensation and
perception, that anything of great scientific value has been
accomplished; and even now it cannot be said that the classes of
sensation have been marked off with perfect certainty. In the higher
range of intellect psychology can do scarcely more than accept some
ready-made divisions from common observation and logic. And if so little
has been settled in the comparatively simple work of a descriptive
classification of the facts of mind, we may be assured that still less
has been accomplished toward a scientific _consensus_ for the laws of
mind. Weber’s law alone seems to stand on any secure basis of
experiment, but its range and meaning are still far from being
determined. Even the laws of the association of ideas are still the
subjects of endless controversy. Also in method there is manifestly the
greatest disagreement. The physiological and introspective schools each
magnify their own methods, sometimes so far as to discredit all others.
Physiological method has won for itself a certain standing, indeed, but
just what are its limitations is still far from being settled.

But the grievous lack of generally accepted results is most apparent in
the domain of feeling. The discussion of feeling in most manuals is very
meagre and unsatisfactory. Professor James’s recent treatise, for
instance, gives some 900 pages to the Intellect, and about 100 pages
each to Feeling and Will. There is little thorough analysis and no
perfected inductive classification. We often, indeed, find essays of
literary value which appeal to the authority of literature. But to refer
to Shakspeare or Goethe as psychological authorities, or in illustration
or proof of psychological laws, is generally a doubtful procedure. The
literary and artistic treatment of human nature is quite distinct from
the scientific, and literature and art cannot be said to be of much more
value for psychology than for physics, chemistry, or biology. To appeal
to the Bible or Shakspeare in matters psychological, is usually as
misleading as to consult them for light on geology or botany. Even the
fuller treatises on the subject of feeling rarely reach beyond literary
method and common observation, being for the most part a collection and
arrangement of the results of common sense, accepting common
definitions, terms, and classifications. Now, science is always more
than common sense and common perception, it is uncommon sense; it is an
insight and a prolonged special investigation which penetrates beneath
the surface of things and shows them in those inner and deeper relations
which are entirely hid from general observation. Common views in
psychology are likely to be as untrustworthy as in physics or astronomy,
or any other department. Science must, indeed, start with common sense,
but it does not deserve the name of science till it gets beyond it.

Again, the subject of pleasure, pain, and emotion, is usually discussed
with considerable ethical or philosophical bias. The whole subject of
feeling has been so naturally associated with ethics and philosophy from
the earliest period of Greek thought that a purely colourless scientific
treatment is quite difficult. Furthermore, feeling has been too often
discussed from an _a priori_ point of view, as in the rigid following
out of the Herbartian theory of feeling as connected with hindrance or
furtherance of representation. Still further, the physical side of
emotion has been so emphasized by the physiological school as to
distract attention from purely psychological investigation.

It is obvious, then, on the most cursory review, that very little has
been accomplished in the pure psychology of feeling. Here is a region
almost unexplored, and which, by reason of the elusiveness and obscurity
of the phenomena, has seemed to some quite unexplorable. Dr. Nahlowsky
truly remarks, that feeling is a “strange mysterious world, and the
entrance to it is dark as to Hades of old.” Is there any way out of this
darkness and confusion? If the study of feeling is to become scientific,
we must, I think, assume that all feeling is a biological function
governed by the general laws of life and subject in origin and
development to the law of struggle for existence. Assuming this strictly
scientific point of view, we have to point out some difficulties in the
way of the introspective psychology of feeling as compared with other
departments of biological science.

We trace directly and with comparative ease any physiological organ and
function from its simplest to its most complex form; for example, in the
circulation of the blood there is clearly observable a connected series
from the most elementary to the most specialized heart as developed
through the principle of serviceability. In some cases, as in the
orohippus, a form in the evolution of the horse, we are able to predict
an intermediate organism. Psychology is still far from this deductive
stage; we have no analogous series of psychic forms, much less are able
to supply, _a priori_, the gaps in a series. The reason for this is
mainly the inevitable automorphism of psychological method. In biology
we are not driven to understand life solely through analogy with our own
life, but in psychology mind in general must be interpreted through the
self-observation of the human mind. In biology we see without effort
facts and forms of life most diverse from our own; the most strange and
primitive types are as readily discernible as the most familiar and
advanced, the most simple as the most complex. We study a fish just as
readily as a human body, but the fish’s mind—if it has any—seems beyond
our ken, at least is not susceptible of direct study, but a matter for
doubtful inference and speculation. Whether a given action does or does
not indicate consciousness, and what kind of consciousness, this is most
difficult to determine. Thus we have the most various interpretations,
some, as Clifford, even going so far as to make psychic phenomena
universal in matter, others, on the other hand, as Descartes, limiting
them to man alone.

The difficulty of this subjective method, this reflex investigation, is
almost insurmountable. Consciousness must act as both revealer and
revealed, must be a light which enlightens itself. A fact of
consciousness to be known must not simply exist like a physical fact or
object, as a piece of stone, but it must be such that the observing
consciousness realizes or re-enacts it. To know the fact we must have
the fact, we must _be_ what we _know_. Mind is pure activity; we do not
see an organ and ask what it is for, what does it do; but we are
immediately conscious of consciousness as activity, and not as an
objective organ. We must here, then, reverse the general order and know
the activity before we can identify the organ as a physical basis.

By the purely objective vision of the lower sciences we can easily
determine a genetic series of forms most remote from our own life, but
in psychology, mind can be for us only what mind is in us. The primitive
types of psychosis are, no doubt, as remote and foreign from our own as
is the primitive type of heart or nervous system from that of man’s. In
the case of heart and nerve we can objectively trace with certainty the
successive steps, but in endeavouring to realize by subjective method
the evolution of mind we are involved in great doubt and perplexity. How
can we understand an insect’s feelings? How can we appreciate minds
which are without apprehension of object, though there is reason to
believe such minds exist? Only to a very limited extent can a trained
and sympathetic mind project itself back into some of its immediately
antecedent stages. Consciousness, because of its self-directive and
self-reflective power, is the most elastic of functions, yet it can
never attain the power of realizing all its previous stages. Sometimes,
however, the mind in perfect quiescence tends to relapse into primitive
modes, which may afterward be noted by reflection, but such occasions
are comparatively rare. The subjective method means a commonalty of
experience which is often impossible to attain. Thus a man may believe
there are feelings of maternity; he has observed the expression of
nursing mothers, and knows in a general way that here is a peculiar
psychosis into which he can never enter, and which is, therefore, beyond
his scientific analysis. The psychic life of the child is more akin to
his than that of the mother; yet it is only by an incessant cultivation
of receptivity and repression of adult propensities that one can ever
attain any true inkling of infant experience. There is then, I think, a
vast range of psychic life which must for ever lie wholly hidden from
us, either as infinitely below or infinitely above us; there is also an
immense realm where we can only doubtfully infer the presence of some
form of consciousness without being able to discriminate its quality, or
in exceptional cases to know it very partially; and there is but a
relatively small sphere where scientific results of any large value may
be expected. By reason of its objective method the realm of physical
science is practically illimitable, but psychic science is, by reason of
its subjective method, kept for ever within narrow boundaries.

We must then take into account the inherent difficulties of the
subjective method as applied to the study of feeling and mind in
general, and yet we must recognise its necessity. No amount of objective
physiological research can tell us anything about the real nature of a
feeling, or can discover new feelings. Granting that neural processes
are at the basis of all feelings as of all mental activities, we can
infer nothing from the physiological activity as to the nature of the
psychic process. It is only such feelings and elements as we have
already discovered and analyzed by introspection that can be correlated
with a physical process. Nor can we gain much light even if we
suppose—which is granting a good deal in our present state of
knowledge—that there exists a general analogy between nerve growth and
activity, and mental operations. If relating, _i.e._, cognition, is
established on basis of inter-relation in brain tissue, if every mental
connecting means a connecting of brain fibres, we might, indeed,
determine the number of thoughts, but we could not tell what the
thoughts were. So if mental disturbance always means bodily disturbance,
we can still tell nothing more about the nature of each emotion than we
knew before. We must first know fear, anger, etc., as experiences in
consciousness before we can correlate them with corporeal acts.

Is now this necessarily subjective method peculiarly limited as to
feeling? Can we know feeling directly as psychic act or only indirectly
through accompaniments? Mr. James Ward (_vide_ article on Psychology in
the _Encyclopædia Britannica_, p. 49, cf. p. 71) remarks that feelings
cannot be known as objects of direct reflection, we can only know _of_
them by their effects on the chain of presentation. The reason for this
is, that feeling is not presentation, and “what is not presented cannot
be re-presented.” “How can that which was not originally a cognition
become such by being reproduced?”

It cannot. But do we need to identify the known with knowing, in order
that it may be known? Must feeling be made into a cognition to be
cognized? It is obvious enough that no feeling can be revived into a
representation of itself, but no more can any cognition or any mental
activity. Revival or recurrence of consciousness can never constitute
consciousness of consciousness which is an order apart. If cognition is
only presentation and re-presentation of objects, we can never attain
any apprehension of consciousness, any cognition of a cognition or of a
feeling or of a volition, for they are all equally in this sense
subjective acts. Re-presentation at any degree is never by itself sense
of re-presentation or knowledge of the presentation.

Of course, the doctrine of relativity applies to introspection as to all
cognition, and subject _qua_ subject is as unknowable as object _qua_
object. We do not know feeling in itself, nor anything else in itself,
the subjective like the objective _ding an sich_ is beyond our ken. Yet
kinds of consciousness are as directly apprehended and discriminated as
kinds of things, but the knowing is, as such, distinct from the known
even when knowing is known. Here the act knowing is not the act known
and is different in value. The object known is not, at least from the
purely psychological point of view, ever to be confounded with the
knowing, to be incorporated into cognition by virtue of being cognized.
Feeling, then, seems to be as directly known by introspection and
reflection as any other process. It is not a hypothetical cause brought
in by the intellect to explain certain mental phenomena, but it is as
distinctly and directly apprehended as cognition or volition.

The distinction between having a feeling and knowing a feeling is a very
real one, though common phraseology confuses them. We say of a brave
man, he never knew fear; by which we mean he never feared, never
experienced fear, and not that he was ignorant of fear. Again, in like
manner, we say sometimes of a very healthy person, he never knew what
pain was, meaning he never felt pain. These expressions convey a truth
in that they emphasize that necessity of experience in the exercise of
the subjective method upon which we have already commented, but still
they obscure a distinction which must be apparent to scientific
analysis. We cannot know feeling except through realization, yet the
knowing is not the realization. Being aware of the pain and the feeling
pain are distinct acts of consciousness. All feeling, pain and pleasure,
is direct consciousness, but knowledge of it is reflex, is consciousness
of consciousness. The cognition of the pain as an object, a fact of
consciousness, is surely a distinct act from the pain in consciousness,
from the fact itself. The pain disturbance is one thing and the
introspective act by which it is cognized quite another.

These two acts are not always associated, though they are commonly
regarded as inseparable. It is a common postulate that if you have a
pain you will know it, or notice it. If we feel pained, we always know
it. This seemingly true statement comes of a confounding of terms. If I
have a pain, I must, indeed, be aware of it, know it, in the sense that
it must be in consciousness; but this makes, aware of pain, and knowing
pain, such very general phrases as to equal experience of pain or having
pain. But there is no knowledge in pain itself, nor pain in the knowing
act _per se_. The knowing the pain must be different from the pain
itself, and is not always a necessary sequent. We may experience pain
without cognizing it as such. When drowsy in bed I may feel pain of my
foot being “asleep,” but not know it as a mental fact. We may believe,
indeed, that pain often rises and subsides in consciousness without our
being cognizant of it, but, of course, in the nature of the case there
is no direct proof, for proof implies cognizance of fact. Pain as mental
fact, an object for consciousness, not an experience in consciousness,
is what is properly meant by knowing pain. Consciousness-of-pain as
knowledge of it is not always involved by pain-in-consciousness as
experience of it. Consciousness of pain by its double meaning as
cognizance of pain and experience of pain leads easily to obscurity of
thought upon this subject. But experience does not, if we may trust the
general law of evolution from simple to complex, at the first contain
consciousness of experience. This latter element is but gradually built
up into experience, though in the end they are so permanently united in
developed ego life that it is difficult to perceive their distinctness
and independence. That pain and pleasure are cognized as facts of
consciousness seems to us clear, but this does not deny that for us, at
least, they may be cognizable only in fusion with other elements, as
with sensation or volition. But whether known only with other elements
or not, pleasure-pain is equally known only by direct introspection. I
know directly and immediately pain and pleasure when I experience them,
though they always occur bound up with some sensation. It may be that I
never experience mere pain but some kind of pain, as a pricking pain,
burning pain, etc., and that I always recall pain by its sensation tone,
that I cannot isolate it by any act of attention. (E. B. Titchener,
_Philosophical Review_, vol. iii., p. 431.) However I know that I have
pain as well as I know that I have a pricking or burning sensation. “Did
you feel the prick?” “Yes.” “Was it painful or pleasurable?”
“Pleasurable”; such a common colloquy implies as direct consciousness of
the pleasure-pain as of the sensation. That I can at once discriminate a
sensation as either pleasurable or painful certainly shows a direct
awareness of pleasure-pain.

If pure pleasure-pain is primitive consciousness (see chap. ii.), it
must be most rare phenomenon in such an advanced consciousness as that
of the human adult: and it is not surprising that one should search for
it in vain. But in any case it could not yield to attention. Attention
as cognition views its object in relation, in a _milieu_; it can
reproduce only by fastening upon something to reproduce by, but pure
pleasure-pain has nothing connected with it. Again, attention as
volition cannot reproduce mere pleasure-pain which is not volitional in
its origin and growth like sensing, perceiving, or ideating. We merely
“suffer” pain. Both pleasure and pain in themselves are purely passive;
willing cannot directly affect them, and they are not, like cognitions,
modes of volition, or effortful activities. For man to have a primitive
consciousness by exercise of will would be quite as difficult as to turn
himself into a protozoön.

Further, would not attention as introspective alertness to discover such
a fact of consciousness as pure pleasure-pain denote that consciousness
is thereby raised far above the level at which such a phenomenon can
occur? In general also constant introspective attention tends to defeat
itself. A continual intentness and watching for a given psychic
phenomenon is a state which, the more intense and persistent it is,
tends to bar out the particular state watched for, and, indeed, all
other states than itself. If attention as act engrosses, it defeats

If, however, undifferentiated pleasure-pain should at any time occur in
human consciousness, might we become immediately and spontaneously aware
of it? By its very nature it may escape conscious attentive
investigation, but may there not be a direct and simple awareness or
apperception of it? We might suppose that one man tells another, “I was
very sick, and in state of coma I had pain, merely pain, not any kind of
pain or pain anywhere, but just pain, that was all the consciousness I
had.” Such an expression is intelligible, and may be a fact. However, it
is in the phenomena of lapse and rise of consciousness that we see
evidences that undifferentiated feeling probably occurs, and that
sometimes in high psychisms. In the following chapter we discuss then
this point as a matter of judgment of tendencies, rather than on basis
of direct evidence of introspection, though this is not barred out.

                               CHAPTER II
                      _ON PRIMITIVE CONSCIOUSNESS_

Science views the world as an assemblage of objects having mutual
relations. In this cosmos of interacting elements certain objects become
endowed with mental powers by which they accomplish self-conservation.
Just what these objects are and how they attain mental quality is beyond
our direct investigation. However, assuming consciousness as a purely
biological function, as a mode for securing favourable reactions, we can
discuss the probable course of its evolution under the law of
self-conservation. Mind, like all other vital function, must originate
in some very simple and elementary form as demanded at some critical
moment for the preservation of the organism. It is tolerably obvious
that this could not be any objective consciousness, any cognitive act,
like pure sensation, for this has no immediate value for life. It was
not as awareness of object or in any discriminating activity that mind
originated, for mere apprehension would not serve the being more than
the property of reflection the mirror. The demand of the organism is for
that which will accomplish immediate movement to the place of safety.
The stone pressed upon by a heavy weight does not react at once to
secure itself, but is crushed out of its identity; but the organism
reacts at once through pain. It is certainly more consonant with the
general law of evolution that mind start thus in pure subjective act
rather than in mere objective acts, like bits of presentation or a
manifold of sense. We shall now endeavour to elucidate this conception
of pure pain as primitive mind, first from the general point of view of
the law of self-conservation, and secondly from particular inductive

It is very difficult to conceive what this bare undifferentiated pain as
original conscious act was, it being so foreign to our own mental acts.
Our psychoses have a certain connection one with the other, and a
connection which is cognized as such, so that the whole of mental life
is pervaded by an ego-sense. But primitive consciousness must have been
by intermittent and isolated flashes. The primitive pain, moreover, was
not a pain in any particular kind, but wholly undifferentiated or bare
pain. There was no sense of the painful, but only pure pain. Nor was
there any consciousness of the pain, any knowledge or apperception of
it. The pain stands alone and entirely by itself, and constituting by
itself a genus.

Now to assert that this general pain exists, is not, of course, realism.
The pain is a particular act, though it is wholly without particular
quality. It is not a pain as one of a kind distinct from other kinds,
but it is comparable to a formless, unorganized mass of protoplasm which
has in it potency of future development. Pain may exist as such, but not
a consciousness or a feeling. It is meaningless to say that the first
psychosis may have been a consciousness in general form which was
neither a feeling, a will, or a cognition, but the undifferentiated
basis of these, nor can a feeling _per se_ exist. The expressions,
painful consciousness, and painful feeling are deceptive; there is no
consciousness which pains, but consciousness is the pain, and the
feeling is not pleasurable or painful, but is the pleasure or pain.
“Feeling,” as I have said (_Mind_, vol. xiii., p. 244), “has no
independent being apart from the attributes which in common usage are
attached to it, nor is there any general act of consciousness with which
these properties are to be connected.”

Further, the law of conservation requires us to associate with this
primitive act of blind, formless pain the will act of struggle and
effort which is as simple and undifferentiated as the feeling. And these
two we must mark as the original elements of all mental life.
Strenuousness through and by pain is primal and is simplest force which
can conduce to self-preservation. It is thus that active beings with a
value in and for themselves are constituted. The earliest conscious
response to outward things is purely central and has no cognitive value.
The first consciousness was a flash of pain, of small intensity, yet
sufficient to awaken struggle and preserve life.

Pleasure, then, we have excluded from playing any _rôle_ in absolutely
primitive consciousness. Pleasure and pain could not both be primitive
functions, and of the two pain is fundamental in that the earliest
function of consciousness must be purely monitory. Pain alone fulfils
primitive demands, and secures struggle which ends in the abatement of
pain through change of environment or otherwise. Pain lessens, but
pleasure does not come, but unconsciousness instead, for no continuous
organic psychic life is yet evolved. As long as pain continues there is
effort and self-conserving action; when pain ceases, consciousness
ceases, because the need for it is gone. Each fit of pain subsides into
unconsciousness as struggle succeeds, and there is no room for even the
pleasure of relief, which, indeed, must be accounted a tolerably late
feeling. As far as the lowest organisms have a conscious life it is a
pain life, but they have a Nirvana in a real unconsciousness. The
evolution of pleasure must be accounted a distinct problem.

The law of evolution is, that origin of function and all progressive
modification arise at critical stages. Thus it is in painful
circumstances that the origin of mind is to be traced, and the important
steps in its development have been achieved in severest struggle and
acutest pain at critical periods. Pleasure is not then the original
stimulant of will, but is a secondary form. Pleasure has an obvious
utility which is far from the absolutely primitive. The pleasure-mode
early enters, however, to sharpen by contrast the pain-mode, and it is
only by their interaction that any high grade of psychic life could be
built up. The development of pleasure cannot be from pain, but as a
polar opposite to it. We cannot bring the development of mind into a
perfectly continuous evolution from a single germ, as is the case in
biological evolution. In a sense we may say that pleasure and pain are
complementary, like positive and negative electricity, but the
comparison cannot be pressed. We cannot, indeed, carry it so far as to
believe either absolutely essential to the other. We mention, then, the
evolution of pleasure as a problem which is yet to be dealt with in
full. However, that it is not original element in mind is easily seen
from this. As we ascend the grades of psychic life the pleasure-pain
gamut lengthens, and as we descend, it shortens, with pleasure always as
the intermediate factor. Thus, if we can represent it by a line,

                 PAIN          PLEASURE          PAIN

any single element which can affect psychic life, as temperature, moves
through a highest pain intensity, an intermediate region, then to pain
again as effects in a range from a very high temperature to very low, or
_vice versâ_. Now, this gamut in a human being, from the intensest agony
from heat to the greatest suffering from cold, consists of very many
notes, but the step to unconsciousness is always at one end of the
scale. In lower psychic life it shortens, but always at the intermediate
points where pain merges into pleasure and pleasure into pain, and thus
in the lowest form the original element of consciousness as feeling is
seen when only the two extremes remain, namely, primitive consciousness
as pain reaction. As the step from feeling—consciousness to
unconsciousness is through a pain, this certainly points to pain as the
original feeling, and the first element of consciousness. We must
suppose then that the first organism which attained consciousness felt
pain, that if this came from temperature, for example, that intense heat
and intense cold would both produce a pain one and the same in nature,
bare pain, not sensation of heat or cold. And this pain-consciousness
response came at first only at the application of these critical
temperatures, all other degrees not bringing any response. If
consciousness like other functions originated as an infinitesimal germ
at some crisis in life, it must have been with pain. The pleasure
function, unlike the pain, does not originate in life and death crises.

That pleasure is secondary is also suggested by this, that pleasure is
mainly connected with such late formations as the special senses,
whereas pain is prominent with earlier functions. Thus we have pleasures
of taste, but visceral pleasure is scarcely noticeable, though visceral
pain, as colic, may be very acute. Wild animals, which feed often under
fear of interruption or in extreme hunger, bolt their food without
tasting, and so miss taste pleasure, and this seems to be the type of
primitive feeding.

The origin of pleasure is then, I think, to be traced as an intermediary
feeling between pain as produced by excess, and pain from lack as
differentiated form. Pain as original and undifferentiated is the same
whether resulting from excess or lack, but it is only after it has
differentiated so far as to be in two modes that pleasure can enter as a
mediate form of feeling and become a directing force to advantageous
action. The primitive pleasure-pain gamut was this:


A general survey from the point of view of self-conservation leads us
then to regard the original psychic state as a pain-effort form. There
is first a purely undifferentiated sense of pain and closely consequent
a purely undifferentiated _nisus_. There is neither sense of objectivity
in general, nor in any special mode, nor is there feeling of pleasure.
And the study of what seem to be the earliest forms of mental life in
the child and in the lower animals points toward this conclusion.
Preyer, in his studies on the mind of the child, expresses his
conviction that the feelings “are the first of all psychical events to
appear with definiteness,” and that at first in no manifold forms. He
adds, “The first period of human life belongs to the least agreeable,
inasmuch as not only the number of enjoyments is small, but the capacity
for enjoyment is small likewise, and the unpleasant feelings predominate
until sleep interrupts them” (_Mind of the Child_, Part I., New York,
1888, p. 143, _cf._ p. 185). Since in the embryology of the mind as in
that of the body the individual repeats in condensed manner the
evolution of life, we judge that these observations point toward the
genesis of consciousness in a single feeling state, pure
undifferentiated pain. The earliest consciousness we can discover seems
to approach this type. The close observer of very young infants must
feel that the meagre psychic life they may have consists mainly of
intermittent pains interrupted by comparatively long periods of
unconsciousness in sleep. Of course, the earliest psychic life of the
infant is not absolutely primitive both on account of heredity and on
account of pre-natal experience; but in its general form it, no doubt,
reverts toward the original _status_ of mind. This original state, to
which that of a very young infant is akin, was merely pain, which knew
not itself nor its relation to other states, nor its relation to the
external world, but was a wholly central subjective fact, and so was
expressed only in wild and blind general movements. The very lowest
types of psychic life which we can interpret seems to feel and nothing
more. They do not feel _at_ anything, and do not feel because they know,
nor do they have definite kinds of feeling.

Pure feeling as bare pain and as undifferentiated pleasure is certainly
far removed from our ordinary conscious experience, yet it may sometimes
appear in a survival form, especially in sluggish states, in waking from
sleep, and in recovering from anæsthetics. We are sometimes awakened by
a dull pain which was evidently in its inception mere bare pain without
differentiation. But in all such cases the pure pain or pure pleasure is
but momentary, and is quickly swallowed up in a flood of manifold
sensations. Many objects by many modes of sense at once invade and
possess consciousness, and the early indefinite mode vanishes so quickly
that we very rarely have time to note it by reflective consciousness.

But it is not merely in exceptional states of developed consciousness
that we may trace the elementary form of feeling, but we may believe it
to be fundamental to consciousness in general. It is natural for us who
are so pervaded and dominated by sense of objectivity to see in it the
causal element in mentality; feeling and will seem consequent to it, and
we apprehend and feel accordingly. But the order of evolution was not
from knowledge in any form to feeling, but the reverse, and we may
suspect that in the completest analysis consciousness will still be
found to obey its original law. If the rise of knowledge was at the
instance of feeling, it is certainly unlikely that a fundamental order
should be more than apparently reversed.

The order of consciousness is really the reverse of the order conceived
by the objectifying consciousness, and this is a point where cognition
by its very nature as objective may be said to obscure itself. To
apprehend is to bring into relation, and the relation is very easily
attributed to what is purely unrelated, to pure subjectivity. Thus here
in the interpretation of merely subjective facts knowledge tends to
stand in its own way. It is only objectively that the objectifying can
appear causative of feeling; subjectively sense of object must always be
taken as subsequent to a pleasure-pain psychosis. The object
communicates or causes the feeling, but the subjective order is as such
of necessity the opposite; the object does not come in view; there is no
relating, until feeling has incited to it, and gradually the mind
reaches out to an objective order from the purely central fact. In every
psychical reaction there must be the purely central disturbance before
the rebound to the actuality occasioning the disturbance. I must feel
before I can discriminate or have any sense of the communication of the
feeling. This means that when external objects are brought into relation
with a wholly unanticipating consciousness, the first element in
psychosis is always pure pleasure or pure pain. Thus, on a cold, dark
day a sudden rush of sunlight on a blindfold man causes pleasure, then
feeling warm, and then sense of warming object. The glow of pleasure and
the pang of pain merely as such is in all cases precedent to any
objective reference. Pure centrality of response, I thus take to be the
initial element of all psychosis, primitive or developed. The first
tendency in every consciousness is pure pain-pleasure, complete
subjectivity which, however, in higher consciousness is so quickly lost
through practically consentaneous differentiation that all traces of it
seem wholly extinguished. Pure subjectivity must be pronounced the most
evanescent of all characters in developed minds and yet the most
constant. It is the inevitable precedent in every sensation and in every
perception. We always experience pleasure or pain before the pleasurable
or painful. A bright colour gives pleasure before we see it, and this
pleasure incites to the seeing it. But so fully has the objective order
been wrought into consciousness as a mode of interpretation that the
great majority on reading the preceding sentence will mentally at first
attribute sense of objectivity from the expression “bright colour gives
pleasure,” as if there were pleasure at colour, a colour-pleasure,
whereas is meant pleasure and nothing more,—bare, undifferentiated

The objective statement, however true, is no measure of subjective fact,
but this twisting of subjective fact to correspond with objective order
is so embedded in language and common thought that it will perhaps
always remain the form of ordinary thinking, like common-sense realism
and geocentric appearance. The expressions, it pleased me, it pained me,
and the common modes of speech in general, are fundamentally misleading.
Pleasure and pain bring their objects, not objects pleasures and pains.
Pleasure _per se_ does not come for and in consciousness from the
object,—though this is objective order—but the object for and in
consciousness comes from the pleasure. Pleasure and pain always precede
any cognizance of the thing, and it is only the combination of the two
elements that constitutes pleasure or pain of or at a thing. The
primitive element, the original feeling movement, also excludes subject
as real object; both the “it” and “me” are not yet apparent; there is
not yet identification of experience with subject or object, and in fact
no sense of experience at all. The psychologist must retain common
expressions, however, but, like the astronomer who retains such phrases
as the sun rises, the sun sets, he must reverse common interpretation
and correct natural error.

Guided by this principle we note an obvious error in the interpretation
of child consciousness. If a bright-coloured object is passed before the
eyes of a young infant we may conclude from its expression that a
pleasure-consciousness is awakened, but we are probably quite at fault
if we conceive it to have a consciousness of bright, and that this
consciousness preceded and gave rise to pleasure and gave it a _quale_
as pleasure-brightness. Sense of pleasure-object is manifested by
appropriative activities, but in the very young, where these activities
are lacking, the response to object is best regarded not as in any wise
sense of object, nor even any kind of sensation, but as a pure
subjectivity of pleasure. Of course the same remarks apply to the pain
side of the child’s experience.

The purely subjective experience, while it becomes more and more
evanescent factor as mind develops, yet always maintains its place as
the initial point and vanishing-point of every psychosis. Every
psychosis beyond the most primitive must be accounted a
feeling-will-knowing group. These psychic forces exist in a correlated
union generally comparable with the correlated activity of physical
forces like electricity and heat. Each psychosis repeats in itself, in
tendency form at least, the essential stages in the evolution of
consciousness. Every psychosis rises from the pure pleasure-pain as the
lowest level of mentality like a wave, and like a wave falls back into
it again. Every wave of consciousness, whether it rises slowly or
rapidly, whether it subsides gradually or violently, rises from pure
subjectivity and comes back to it again. This absolutely simple feeling
phase is accomplished so rapidly in ordinary human consciousness as to
be rarely perceptible, but in lower consciousness it often exists as
mood, as more or less permanent psychosis. The Brahmans attain
artificially a subjectivity akin to this through their expertness in
mental control and manipulation. They succeed in reducing and keeping
consciousness in some very simple type, and their Nirvana may be
considered as a state of pure subjectivity on the pleasure side. They,
of course, cannot really attain this state or, at least, keep it, for
pleasure is at bottom relative, yet they come to something approaching
it. Pain at its height just before unconsciousness is reached, is always
of the pure subjective type. In slow torture pain increases to a maximum
intensity in pure pain, beyond which there is a gradual loss of
intensity and consciousness in general, till ultimate failure of all
consciousness. From the maximum intensity on to the end, consciousness
is entirely subjective. Pleasure at its maximum attains only comparative
subjectivity. Such facts tend toward a theory of mind which makes its
original and fundamental act purely central; mind starts as in a germ
which pushes outward till it penetrates space and time, but not in any
reverse motion a pushing inward of a series of presentation forms.

We shall now notice certain of Mr. James Ward’s statements on primordial
mind—in the article Psychology, _Encyclopædia Britannica_—in which he
controverts feeling as original and simplest unit in mentality. Mr. Ward
regards “_the simplest form of psychical life_” as involving
“_qualitatively distinguishable presentations which are the occasions of
the feeling_.” Presentation is primitive and initial in all
consciousness, and cognition—feeling—will is the order for all mind. We
always act as we are pleased or pained with the “changes in our
sensations, thoughts, or circumstances” of which we are aware. Some
presentation form is, throughout all our experience, the precursor and
cause of feeling, and feeling can never be said to exist in a pure state
as bare pleasure and pain totally without cognitive value.

On the contrary, I conclude from general considerations and from special
indications in our own minds that pure pain is the original element, and
that pure pleasure and pain are fundamental in all mind. Pure feeling
arises from objects, indeed, but is still wholly unknowing of object and
without qualitative aspect. Pure feeling is the constant incentive to
all knowing and will activity. To say that I am pleased with a thing is
to transform objective order into subjective fact. Pleasures and pains
certainly come from things but this does not invariably rouse cognition
of them as so coming, or of object as causative agent. The governing and
essential fact of mind is always pure feeling, which, by reason of its
perfect centrality, necessarily and naturally tends to elude
observation. Every act of consciousness begins and ends with pure
feeling, but mind, as far as it minds itself, is most apt to see only
culminating phases rather than the obscure and inner forces which
constituted long outgrown stages. The prominent facts of late
consciousness are always very complex. Cognition as revealer unites with
the known and inevitably, but strongly tends to regard itself as the
determining and causative agent, whereas by its essence and function it
is secondary. Cognition does not create its object, except in the view
of a transcendental philosophy.

Mr. Ward asserts that phenomena of pleasure and pain involve change in
consciousness with consciousness of change whereby we are pleased or
pained. A changing presentation _continuum_ is impressed upon mind, and
it is by awareness of these changes that feelings are caused. This is
certainly a complex mode to be assigned to all consciousness. This
asserts that primarily consciousness merely happens in presentation form
as determined from without, but I take it that the evolution of faculty
is always acquirement, not mind determined, but mind determining,
achieving its own growth in blind struggle. Mind is wholly an inward
growth, not a series of givens; and presentations are accomplished not
merely in it but by it. The fundamental principle is that while objects
do determine conscious functions, it is only through self-conservative
interest, through pleasure and pain reacting to them. All sensations,
intuitions, presentations, are at bottom achievements as forced by law
of struggle for existence. They do, indeed, seem to come of necessity
and spontaneously to adult human consciousness, but developed faculty by
virtue of being such does not have to attain beginnings.

But we note also this, that while all consciousness is change in the
sense of being dynamic, of being an activity, this does not include
consciousness of change. Consciousness as a changing factor is very
distinct from consciousness of that change, and does not necessarily
include or imply it. That the forms of activity which we group under the
general term consciousness have their existence wholly in movement and
change is true, but this does not necessitate that the changing elements
should be aware of the change as such. Different things may be felt and
known, but this does not always result in being known _as different_.
This brings in comparison, consciousness of relation, which is certainly
beyond primitive consciousness. In early mind we conceive that new
elements are continually taking the place of the old, that change is
incessant, yet without sense of the change. So far as the earliest
consciousness is spasmodic and intermittent, appearing in isolated
flashes, we cannot speak even of change in consciousness, much less of
consciousness of change, for there is no continuous thread, no
integration, consequently change is not in consciousness from a
consciousness to a consciousness, but the only change is from a
consciousness to unconsciousness. In the whole life of some organisms we
may believe that only three or four pains or pleasures occur, entirely
subjective and undifferentiated, and this collection of consciousnesses
where state does not follow and influence state, where there is no
complexity, is scarcely to be termed a consciousness which changes, much
less that is aware of change. It is not improbable that even with
civilized and educated men mind may sometimes lapse so far that changes
occur with no awareness of change. In such sluggish conditions as when
half asleep we may experience succession of consciousnesses without
noting succession, each phase standing alone in itself and by itself.
While consciousness is maintained as consciousness—that is, a
continuance of conscious states—by the change, it is obviously not
necessary to this that there should be awareness of change. Here as
elsewhere we must keep clear of the mistake of making consciousness more
than a general term for a group of phenomena. Consciousness as such has
no reality or existence, but merely denominates a sum of
consciousnesses. The phrase, change of consciousness, and similar
expressions easily convey the impression that consciousness is a
changing something. But we know that consciousness does not exist as a
general indefinite something which changes or has other properties, but
is merely a name for certain activities and functions.

The formula of Mr. Ward’s hardly applies to developed consciousness,
much less to undeveloped. Consciousness even in man cannot be regarded
as a something which changes in sensation and presentation forms as pure
givens, determined with immediate completeness from without, and these
changes perceived, and pleasure and pain result. On the contrary the
immediateness and spontaneity of presentation forms in our ordinary
adult human consciousness are in appearance only; they stand first
before us because they have reached a dominance through heredity and
education, but still the latent and inward order is always from feeling
to knowledge and not _vice versâ_. The accomplishment of presentation is
usually so marvellously rapid in perceptive beings, and acts upon such
slight incentive that it is only under very rare conditions of
regression, or when developing a new sense or new form of sense that we
see that the moving element in mentality is pure feeling. Thus, for
example, in being awakened from sound sleep by a bright light suddenly
brought into the room, the order of consciousness is, pure feeling of
pain, sensation of light, perception of lighted object, and not the
reverse; whenever we can catch consciousness gradually awakening we can
always identify this order. The lighted lamp, objectively speaking,
certainly caused the feeling of discomfort with which consciousness
began, and this feeling roused the mind to both sensation of light and
perception of lamp. I, of course, have a feeling as to the visible
object only after seeing it, but this is altogether distinct from the
feeling which incites to the seeing. A vague, undifferentiated pain or
pleasure is always initiative, but pure pleasure-pain is often so low in
intensity that it does not start any cognitive act.

In a general way the influence of feeling and emotion upon cognitive act
in higher psychical life is acknowledged by common observation. The wish
is father to the thought—we see what we want to see. What we observe
depends upon prepossession, interest, and the whole pleasure-pain tone.
The mind must be determined to cognitive act by interest of some kind,
and even for advanced consciousness with all its strength of inherited
aptitude total loss of interest ultimately leads to loss of perceptive
power. The _impetus_ of all previous cognitive effort will carry on
cognition, of any high order, at least, but a comparatively short time.
Blot feeling out of life and all nature would soon become a dumb show
and quickly fade into nothingness. Absolute passionless receptivity is
impossible under the conditions of reality, and pure presentation forms
never _come_ as antecedent and causative to feeling. We have constantly
to bear in mind that in the nature of the case the simplest elements and
fundamental laws are hidden and certainly far from conspicuous in highly
developed mind, which is an intricate _nexus_ of feeling, will, and
cognition constantly acting and reacting on each other.

As a general statement, then, impliedly as to mind in general, and
implicitly as to the developed human mind, the proposition that
consciousness is fundamentally aware of changes in itself as the basis
and cause of all feeling is an assertion which may well be questioned.
Certain it is that being “pleased or pained with the change” is not
feeling in general, but a particular kind of feeling, namely, feeling of
variety and novelty. Further, to be pleased with a thing for itself
alone is not to be referred to pleasure or pain “with the change.” There
is intrinsic pleasurableness and painfulness which does not come under
the head of pleasure or pain of change. From both an _a priori_ point of
view of the law of self-conservation, and also from a brief survey of
certain forms in comparative and human psychology, we incline towards
accepting pure pain as the original consciousness which is very soon
differentiated into excess and lack pain with evolution of pure
pleasure. Will exists throughout as incited by feeling. Much, indeed, is
to be done before this theory of the nature of mind is either fully
elucidated or proved; but I believe that the assumption of mind as life
function leads toward such a theory. Sensationalism and intuitionalism
are both mistaken as to the origin and essence of mentality.
Consciousness is not at bottom any mode of cognition, either as more or
less freely accomplished by a “mind,” or as more or less mechanical
impression from “things,” but it is primitively and fundamentally pain
and pleasure as serving the organism in the struggle for existence. It
is strange that evolutionary psychologists have so generally missed this
point of view, and maintain sensationalism.

Comte, indeed, acutely remarks (_Positive Philosophy_, vol. 1, p. 463)
that “daily experience shows that the affections, the propensities, the
passions, are the great springs of human life; and that, so far from
resulting from intelligence, their spontaneous and independent impulse
is indispensable to the first awakening and continuous development of
the various intellectual faculties.” He here assumes the introspection
which he elsewhere denies as psychological method, and enunciates an
important principle which he never carried out. Horwicz has made a
survey of feeling as fundamental aspect of mind, but his discussion is

Our conclusions have been founded on general considerations and on the
phenomena of growth of mind in general and particular. Another line of
evidence would be decadent mind. Mental powers should decline and vanish
in the reverse of the general order in which they arose; the order of
disappearance should be the reverse of appearance, and if pain-pleasure
be primitive, we should expect to find it both the first conscious
element in infancy and the last in old age. The last stage of senility
seems sensitive only to organic pleasures and pains. Further, old age
does not so much seek pleasure as guard against pains, and this fact is
in line with our treatment of pain as prior to pleasure and more
fundamental than it. We may consider it likely that conscious life in
the individual begins with a pain and ends with a pain. Senile
psychology on this and other points is worthy of far more attention than
it has received, for it is on the whole more accessible and trustworthy
than infant psychology.

With regard to Mr. H. R. Marshall’s remarks (_Philosophical Review_,
vol. 1, p. 632), it is sufficient to say that I lay no great emphasis on
either pain or pleasure being the first fact of consciousness; but my
main contention is that the primitive facts of consciousness are of the
pain-pleasure type. While I have noticed some considerations as implying
pain to be the first consciousness phenomenon, yet I am satisfied that
pain and pleasure are correlative and complementary, each implying the
other. Further, I do not regard pain as “primal sense,” but as primal
fact. Pain is not in any wise a sense, and sense of pain can only mean
capacity for pain, or actual pain experience.

Again, I do not, as Mr. Marshall implies, regard pain as the
differentiating basis of subsequent evolution, but rather as mere
_prius_ and impetus, and hence I do not look for pain-pleasure to
disappear with mental evolution, nor yet to mark divisions in
“sensational phenomena”; but it will ever remain in representative
forms, at least, as increasingly complex stimulant of all mental life.

The objection urged by Höffding and others to the primitive nature of
pure feeling is that we sense before we feel pain or pleasure; thus we
have the sensation of touch before we feel the pain from contact with a
hot stove; we feel the pin, then the pricking sensation, then the pain.
This precedence has been measured by Beau and others.

But what is the significance of these well-recognised facts? Do they
show that pain-pleasure originates always in sensation? What is the
origin of tactile power? How and why was the first tactile effort made,
if not at impulse of some pain-pleasure? When conscious life was at
pre-tactile stage—before it had learned to touch—it had no pain from
touch, but it had pain. We can scarcely deny that a pre-tactile stage
exists, that all sensation was originally a sensing—an exertive act,
that it did not _come_, but was _attained_; for all the growth of
sensitive power in the race proceeds thus at present, and the law of
present psychic development in this regard seems general. But it is
pain-pleasure which forces all action; here is the impulse which brings
exertion whether as sensing or otherwise. A doctrine of spontaneity is
against the general law of development by struggle. It is certainly true
that, standing with my back to the stove and inadvertently coming in
contact, I, without any previous pain-pleasure impulse and without
exertion, have sense of touch, then pain. But this spontaneity is not
original factor; it is the result of inherited powers. When tactility
has become a well-developed power and is handed down to descendants,
then contact with things is immediately and spontaneously realized in
the form of touch, which contact would originally have been unnoticed.
That is, the severest condition—a red hot stove—would impress the lowest
psychism only in terms of mere pain, and so result in general reactions
of _minimum_ service. The early psychism which is just in process of
achieving sense of touch would have pain, and then with effort touch the
object and thus attain some more special reaction of more particular
service. But the tactile, like all sensing activity is anticipatory, it
is a finder, an interpreter. Suppose I bring a very fine needle toward
your eye, you may see it and avoid it; but suppose your eyes are shut
the eye comes in contact with the needle, and you have sensation of
touch; but you are sound asleep, then pricking sensation may wake you as
needle proceeds deeper, but in profoundest sleep undefined pain may be
the first consciousness to result. Now the needle might be so small as
to be seen with great difficulty by the waking man, or invisible, or to
be touched with great difficulty; but this stage of exertive action for
the sense is only relative, and in the history of mind the very grossest
forms were at one time only dimly seen by intensest effort, and lower
still, touched only by intensest effort. Seeing originated in looking,
and passive touch in active touch, as moved by interest or direct
pleasure-pain. Now pain is not in the mere sight or touch, but is
suggested by them. The whole order—seeing, touching, feeling prick,
feeling pain—is the reverse of evolution order. The rational mode, then,
of interpreting the origin of any sense, whether tactile, visual or
other, is not by receptivity, but through struggle at critical stage
when great pain is actual or imminent. Thus, if the conditions of life
required the development of a special sense of magnetism, it would
surely arise by strongest effort, as, indeed, all progress in special
sensitiveness is now being accomplished. Thus, the anticipatory and
premonitory function of sense does not make it original, rather the
contrary; it is guide and significant of pain-pleasure.

It is obvious that the cognitive tendency once established becomes an
instinct of objectivity and governs the whole mentality. This is
obviously the case with man. He does not exist in that sluggishness and
semi-consciousness where pain-pleasure must arise as primitive impulse,
but by habit and instinct he is passively and actively cognitive. The
eye is continually seeing things spontaneously, the hand touching, but
as to some very small object we have to exert effort to see or touch,
and this was undoubtedly the mode by which all seeing and touching
arose. It is because generations of ancestors actively sensed, that we
automatically sense; the tendency has become ingrained in mind. So it is
that man is predominantly sensing, is continually and naturally awake to
objective conditions, is constantly anticipatory, and so normally senses
before he feels pain-pleasure. However, a man in a “brown study,”
inadvertently touching a hot stove, has pain, then warmth, then touch
sensation, and actively realizes these. So in deep slumber mentality
often begins with pain-pleasure. At bottom the reason we have pain from
a sensing is because we had originally pain-impulse to that sensing, and
the pain therewith. Thus tactility, arising as effortful sensing, was
produced by pain from thing to be touched, to be sensed in its
experimental value. By innumerable painful experiences with hot things,
the hot thing is tactilily appreciated; and as touching is actively
pursued by organism on the alert, the associated pain is more and more
quickly realized from given object. In origin pain was felt from the hot
thing in contact, before either sense of warmth or contact was sensed;
it was this pain that forced to sensing and development of cognition,
which, however, ultimately became habit, and things were constantly
appreciated and anticipated. Thus the touch-warmth-pain order is
established. Sense is significant of pain-pleasure, but the
pain-pleasure came not at first from the sensing, but the contrary;
sensing was determined by it, and became correlated with it, and became
sign of it. The progress is from initial subjectivity to an instinctive
constant objectivity. This objectivity is reflected in all objective
expression as language; “the heat was painful,” “it hurt”; the “it”
being tactual thing, etc., etc. However, if we look for primitive
consciousness, we must find it only in primitive organisms in their
primitive stage, and in man most rarely only as tendency in profound
relapse. We must mark this, that cognition is not to be evolved out of
feeling, but at instance of feeling as impelling the knowing effort or

We may suppose that primitive consciousness still exists in the lowest
types of life, but it may also be the sub-consciousness in the higher
types. Viewed biologically, what is sub-consciousness?

The earliest living aggregations attain but a very slight degree of
common life, and very slowly do the cells, under the pressure of
serviceability in the struggle for existence, give up their independency
and become interdependent, each thereby giving up some functioning to be
done for it by others, and in turn functioning for others. Thus it is
but slowly that a stomach is specialised, the cells in general in the
organism long retaining and exercising some digestive function, which is
properly termed sub-digestion. In this way a soup bath gives
nourishment. If psychic function specializes gradually like other
functions, we shall have in the same way a sub-form here, a
sub-consciousness which stands for lower centres, and not for the whole
organism as such. The wider, higher, and more specialized psychic centre
does not at once extinguish the lower.

Now what is a _high_ organism but an involved series of combinations of
combinations? With every new integration a higher plane is achieved, and
the vital process has a wider functioning: but the physical or psychical
activity so far as it does not pass over into the service of the new and
higher whole remains as sub-function. With every new stage in evolution
the integrating psychic factors only partially lose themselves in
effecting a common psychism for the new whole, a sub-consciousness and a
sub-sub-consciousness, etc., are still carried on in survival. In man,
physiologically speaking, it is the brain consciousness which is
general. But we need not suppose this to extinguish all the lower
ganglionic consciousness from which and by which it arose. If psychic
function be correlative with other function, we must expect in man a
vast amount of survival sub-mentality which, while not the mind of the
man, is yet mind in the man. The individual knows necessarily only the
general consciousness, for this only is _his_ consciousness and
constitutes his individuality, yet the doctrine of evolution would call
for a vast deal of undiscoverable simple consciousness which never rises
to the level of the whole organism’s consciousness. A cell or a group of
cells may be in pain and yet there be no pain in the individual’s
consciousness, and so unknown to this general consciousness.

We have intimated that primitive consciousness may occur in a
sub-conscious way in the highest organisms. But can this
sub-consciousness ever be more than mere survival in its nature? or may
it play essential part as basis of higher manifestations? If the
integration of mentality is like other integration,—_e.g._ material
which is based on molecular and atomic activity—it will be bound up in
the activity of psychic units, which can be none other than
sub-consciousness. That is, any common or general consciousness when
looked at from below, and analytically is the dynamic organic whole of
elements; it is a product of activities which are on another plane from
itself. Roughly illustrated, I may say that my finger feels pain before
I do. We conceive that at a certain intensity a sub-consciousness tends
to rouse a general consciousness, and for a time maintain it; and losing
intensity, the general consciousness disappears leaving only the
sub-consciousness, which may long outlast the general form.

Sub-consciousness, whether as survival or basal, is put beyond our
direct observation, but it remains a necessary biological and
psychological hypothesis. Here is exemplified for psychosis that law of
the aggregation of units in hierarchical order, that wheel within wheel
structure of the universe, upon which I have touched in _Mind_, ix. pp.

                              CHAPTER III
                      _THEORIES OF PLEASURE-PAIN_

The bearing of our studies on a theory of the conditions of
pleasure-pain is obvious. If we consider pure feeling as the primary,
fundamental, and conditioning mentality, it stands before all other
mentality, and cannot be interpreted as conditioned. Pain as _primum
mobile_ is not intrinsically dependent on any other psychosis. Hence we
run counter to the Herbartian School, which maintains that psychism
exists from the first for itself as intellectual ideational activity,
and that pleasure-pain is but reflex of the efficiency and ease, or the
inefficiency and difficulty of this activity. The checking of the
current of ideas may give a pain, but our exposition has been that pain
arose before ideas or presentations of any kind, and long before any
interference could be felt as pain.

Again, if we say “all pain comes from tension” (_Mind_, xii. p. 6), we
have to ask, Tension of what? If we say tension of sensation or
ideation, this is Herbartianism merely. How also can tension be felt as
painful, except through sensation of tension, which is a feeling of
intense sensation—obviously a late psychosis? And certainly pain is more
than a general consciousness fatigue. And further stress and strain
result in pain, because we imply these as painful activities by the very
notion of the words. A stress or strain is assumedly painful activity,
but this is not explanation. But apart from this, if the organism felt
pain merely as direct result of struggling and straining, it would cease
activity; activity and evolution would stop. It may be that by tension
is not meant a mode of consciousness, but of nervous or muscular
activity; but as we are now considering psychosis only as conditioning
pure feeling, we leave this aspect for discussion till a little later.
But on the psychical side, that all pain is a by-product of over-intense
consciousness, intellectual or volitional, that the origin and
development of pain is in a mental intensity which has gone beyond a
certain point, this seems, on general evolutionary grounds, unlikely.
Here, indeed, is merely a very particular and rather late mode of pain.
And may not pains themselves attain an intensity which is itself
painful? It must be acknowledged, however, that the whole doctrine as to
consciousness intensity, its nature, reactions, laws, and measurements
is very obscure.

Again, as to the theory that pleasure-pain is reflex of quantity of
consciousness, that pleasure results from mental expansion, pain from
mental contraction, this must, like the intensity theory, be considered
as putting a late and special form as covering all forms. Mentality here
exists for itself, and conscious self-development—a very late mode—is
presupposed. The promotion of large complete free consciousness, the
sense of progress and of unimpeded mental activity, certainly conveys
high joys to certain choice natures, but they do not touch the vast
majority of even human minds, much less animal. With the stolid an
expanding consciousness is painful. Consciousness only as conscious of
itself, and as self-developing, reaches a pleasure or pain as a felt
furtherance or hindrance of its own expansion.

All reflex theories take us above the realm of simple consciousness
acting directly for life, and this is the very form which seems
commonest, and which appears to be full of passing pleasures and pains.
That consciousness does react on itself in late phases is plain, but if
consciousness, like other functions, has developed from the extremely
simple to the extremely complex, this self-reaction cannot be regarded
as primitive. Not till consciousness becomes integrated as a manifold
organism do pleasure and pain become prominent as reflexes. We are not
now looking for the functional value of pleasure and pain in mind itself
as an independent whole; but regarding its functional quality and that
of all mentality in life values, and here the functional meaning of such
reflexes is secondary. In mind, as organic continuous whole,
pleasure-pain is both resultant and excitant; it stands related to an
antecedent state and it is stimulant to following states. Its function
is excitant and it is the starting point of all other mentality, both
originally and in the later manifestation. The having pleasure-pain is
what starts both motor and cognitive volition.

It has, indeed, been maintained that while pleasure-pain is not a
product or concomitant of some psychosis, as sensation, it is itself a
sensation, a definite mode of sensibility. I have a pain sense just as I
have a temperature sense, I feel pain in the same way as I feel warm,
and by the analogous sensory nerves. With reference to this theory we
must ask, since sensation is correspondent to modes of objects, to what
mode is pain correspondent? Sense responds to modes of object, as light,
and sonorous vibrations; but pain is not based on any such mode of
objects. If pain were, there would have been long since a department of
physics, which would have treated that basis just as it treats light,
heat, sound, etc. But we all know that an object is not painful or
pleasing in the same way that it is warm or cold, heavy or light. I do
not say the stone feels heavy and painful, but I do say the stone feels
painfully heavy, that is feeling pain is not a state of awareness.
Further, having pain or pleasure is not by any sensing effort. I do not
try to feel pain as I try to see the light of a star or feel the warm
spot in a bar of iron. To be sure, the doctor asks his patient, “do you
feel any pain?” and after a moment’s delay the answer may be, “yes,” but
this is not in the nature of a sensing effort, but merely an
attentiveness to bodily conditions as affecting mental state, not an
objective attention but an analytical self-attention. Still further, a
neural basis for pleasure-pain is altogether likely, but even if these
nerves were found to be generally distributed over the body, this would
not prove sensation, but merely that pleasure-pain is functional
throughout the organism, diffusive organic consciousness. If
pleasure-pain is primitive, and neurality and mentality correlate, the
earliest nerve structure—ganglion—was a pleasure-pain organ. However,
the sensory motor predominance is so early and complete that the current
theory, as the more objective, is the natural physiologic

Again, it has been maintained that pleasure-pain is not a definite state
of consciousness, but a quality like intensity, a _modus_ which must
belong to all states. But if we assign pleasure-pain to such a category
as intensity we must define just what we mean by this category. Is
intensity a mere objective quality which we as observers assign to all
psychosis, just as we do to electrical or luminous phenomena? or is it
inherent element, an actual constituent, of every psychosis? If a man is
angry and becomes more angry, intensity is increased; but we may
conceive that he simply is more angry without being aware of this change
of intensity, that is without every change of intensity being noted by
consciousness. As introspection avers, it often happens that a man is
both unconscious of his anger and unconscious of its increase. As I have
frequently had occasion to note, simple natures are wholly unconscious
of their emotions and of their intensity variations. That is, as matter
of fact, intensity of feeling is not feeling of intensity. If you feel
warm you feel differently than when you feel warmer, but this is no more
than saying that when the iron is hot it is in a different state than
when it is hotter. Intensity means the same in both cases.
Consciousness, primitively, at least, is not self-awareness of its own
changes in intensity. The feeling warm and the feeling warmer occur
simply as facts which are subjectively unrelated and unmeasured by the
consciousness which has the varying intensities. I strike a cow
hard—result, intense pain; harder, more intense pain; this is
correlative with, I strike iron, intense tremor; harder, more intense
tremor. The cow experiences more intense pain, but does not consciously
measure it off as such. I can say, “I feel hotter than I did,” but the
cow does not appreciate and express its own sense of its experience. The
language fallacy leads us astray. By our very use of terms, warm and
warmer, and by our discussion of the matter, we imply a consciousness of
intensity which is far from being primitive or general. It would
probably be an overestimate to say that the intensity of one in a
thousand psychoses makes itself felt as such in consciousness.

That consciousness is not always conscious of its own intensity is then
shown by direct introspection. And in general we must observe that every
psychosis has its own intensity, which intensity may or may not be noted
by a consciousness of intensity. If there come a consciousness of
intensity, this consciousness has its own intensity, which may be noted
by a new consciousness, whose intensity may in like manner be noted by a
new consciousness, etc., _ad infinitum_. That is, a consciousness is
never its own intensity, and intensity is never a consciousness, such as
pain or pleasure, but is mere comparative objective quality.

Again, consciousness has almost from the first different degrees of
activity, but it would be most unlikely that so complex an act as
consciousness conscious of its own intensity should be primitive and
early. Also, if consciousness develops as life factor it must be
immediate utility which determines its early forms. Hence on this
general principle of biologic evolution it is most unlikely that
primitive organisms will both have consciousnesses and consciousness of
their intensity, for of what direct and vital value is this
intensity-consciousness as psychic mode? On the other hand it is
obviously desirable that psychoses should early differentiate intensity
as objective quality, _i.e._, without self-awareness of it, should have
different degrees of a psychosis to meet different degrees of
requirement; thus to fear strongly or weakly according to necessity of
the case. To have fear set at one pitch for all cases is perhaps
absolutely primitive, but differentiation is early. But to fear more or
less, _i.e._, at different intensities, is not to have intensity as
subjective element, an actual psychosis constituent appreciated as such,
which is very late evolution since the demand for it is late. In thus
defining the category of intensity we have plainly isolated it from the
pleasure-pain category. We know pleasure or pain as act of consciousness
just as we know volition or sensation. Pain and pleasure are definite
facts like seeing or touching or willing, and are so recognised by
common consciousness. One or the other may be involved in all
experience, but this does not make them general qualities like
intensity. Pain is a consciousness, intensity is not a consciousness.
This is the immediate value of the terms, the very names convey
distinctness of category. I have a pain, I do not have an intensity; I
am in pain, I am not in intensity. My pain is intense, but I cannot say
my intensity is painful. We experience pain and pleasure, but we never
experience intensity.

This _quale_ hypothesis as presented by Marshall in _Pain, Pleasure and
Aesthetics_, is set upon the dangerous foundation of ignorance, viz., of
the neural basis of pleasure-pain, and of causes of its variability. It
is as yet disputed whether a nerve organ for pleasure-pain has been
found; but if one is generally acknowledged, the theory would be
overthrown. Greater intensity in any psychosis, as sensation of warmth,
means simply greater nervous activity in the particular nerves
subserving the psychosis, in this case the temperature nerves. So also
pleasure-pain as general concomitant like intensity must mean merely
some general mode of nervous activity as yet unknown, if we allow it any
nervous basis at all. Again, the variability of pleasure-pain for a
given content, the fact that the taste of olives is at one time
pleasant, at another, unpleasant, suggests that pleasure-pain is like
intensity merely a general quality, which must in one form or another
attach to all psychoses. But this does not explain anything. What we
want to know is why in any given case we have pleasure and not pain; we
do not wish to be put off with a general statement that the nature of
pleasure-pain is such that we may have either, which is akin to the old
metaphysical method of abstract explanation; making the _rationale_ of
the lion leoninity is not unlike the hypothesis that explains
pleasure-pain in all its variations by variability as its nature. We
have a scientific faith that variability is not a general unexplainable
quality, but that there is for every case of pleasure-pain a definite
_rationale_ based in the facts of life demand and life history. That
olives now give pleasure, and now give pain, is based upon definite
conditions of physical state which are very complex, but which can be
revealed by patient research alone.

Any theory of pleasure-pain then from the point of view of pure
psychology, as explaining it by reference to other modes of
consciousness, is, we think, unsatisfactory. But perhaps the
physiological point of view will be more satisfactory. It is generally
considered that the function and origin of pain is in what is
unfavourable to physiological function, of pleasure, in what is
favourable. I cut my finger, and the pain says, stop the injurious
action. However, there are exceptions. I taste sugar of lead; it is
pleasant, and I keep on tasting, and am poisoned. Lotze explains that
this sweetness is immediately soothing and advantageous. “We must not
regard pleasure,” says Grant Allen, as “prophetic.” But what has been
the evolution of taste as sensing act except to be “prophetic,” to give
at the opening of the alimentary canal a monitor to the stomach and
other digestive organs? That it tastes sweet, that this taste is
pleasant, and so the substance is swallowed, or that it tastes bitter
and unpleasant, and the substance is rejected; this surely is
anticipatory and “prophetic.” The taste for sweetness is not evolved for
itself; but for its life value; and hence Lotze’s explanation fails from
the point of view of evolutionary psychology. The organic sweet is the
nutritious and beneficial, and the sensing this quality in connection
with these favourable and pleasant effects on the stomach and organism
as a whole has led to a taste and liking for sweetness. “Sweet and
wholesome” is the common and just conception. But if mineral sweets
injurious to life, like sugar of lead, had been a common environment,
and the only sweet known, this sweetness would have been as unpleasant
as the sour or acid now is. We see even now that sweets that have
several times caused nausea, though at first highly agreeable, come to
be distasteful and disgustful. We now find that sour and bitter
substances are disliked by animals in general as painful, for the sour
and bitter is general sign of the unwholesome; but those animals which
live almost exclusively on bitter herbs undoubtedly appreciate this
quality as we do a _bon bon_. Men lost in a desert by pertinaciously
tasting bitter herbs and becoming dependent upon them for support would
soon realize their bitterness as pleasant, and a race might originate to
whom sweetness would be unpleasant. Hence the value of a sensation does
not—in natural evolution—lie in itself, it is merely a guide and index;
and the sensation quality will be pleasant or unpleasant according to
its relation to the demands of life. A sensation is inherently either
pleasurable or painful, but not essentially one and not the other, hence
the proverb, _de gustibus non disputandum_. The sensing act in itself is
indifferent, _i.e._, sweetness and bitterness, purely as tastes, as
sensing acts, are indifferent; but as matter of fact having grown up
with and for pleasure-pain tones as indicative of life values, they are
either one or the other according to their relation to life. Where sense
serves not life but itself, as with the epicure, a new order of
pleasures and pains is determined which is not within our present scope
of discussion.

This variability of pleasure-pain tone of sensations even under natural
evolution shows that the main force at least of their pleasurability or
the contrary does not lie in the affection of the sense organ itself. If
a given sensation, for example, bitterness, were painful in all degrees
only because of its harmfulness to the sense organ, how could this
variability be explained? We consider that the tasting bitterness, for
example, arose through painful stomachic and bowel experience with herbs
which had this quality, and which by sensing efforts were so cognized at
length, and pain connected by its very origin with sense of bitterness,
which becomes in all degrees painful. The identifying the nutritiously
harmful weed by tasting its bitterness has the pain quality of its
effects, since the tasting has grown up in connection with its effects.
It is out of actual injurious and painful experiences that the organism
is led to put out sensing effort and to reach such a sensation as that
of a bitter taste whose pain value is mainly, at least, due to the
actual results of the substance lower down in the alimentary canal. A
sense of bitterness becomes disagreeable in all degrees, for in its
inception, when first sensed, it has its connection with the pain
effects which stimulate this sensing. To discriminate the unnutritious
or poisonous by tasting is a grand achievement, securing the rejection
at the very opening, the mouth of the alimentary canal, in place of
rejection by nausea from the stomach itself. The organism which could
only know that a certain substance was bad for it by very painful
nausea, now knows its badness by the comparatively painless tasting bad.
Whatever tastes bad, is bad.

The chief difficulty of the theory of bodily advantage and disadvantage
as conditioning pleasure and pain comes not from any such instance as
the sugar of lead phenomenon; but it lies in the fact that life
progressiveness, enlargement, specialization, that which is to the
highest profit of life, is uniformly reached only by painful struggle.
It is only by intense struggle, by supremest, painfullest effort, that
those new psychic forms are initiated and developed which are of the
utmost service to the organism. The act of adjustment to a new
circumstance is so extremely difficult and painful that it is attempted
by few and achieved by very few of any set of organisms. By an act of
most painful struggle the fittest survive; and the rest, the vast
majority, who could not key themselves to that pitch, perish. Adjustment
to the ordinary conditions is simply a free using of intelligence and
energy integrated and stored by ancestors when these conditions were new
to them. The adjustments which are so spontaneously made by new-born
animals as response to environment were once new, and secured and
integrated for inheritance by the most painful and persistent effort.
Such is the inertia and conservatism of life that while it moves
spontaneously in grooves already made, it does not rejoice in the toil
of real progress. The struggle by which the greatest life advances have
been accomplished has always been intensely painful in itself, whatever
the aftermath of pleasure may be, the pleasure of achievement and
creation, the satisfaction at successful effort, which is plainly a very
late psychosis.

The origin and place of pleasure is indicated by these considerations.
Though function is generated and developed by severest painfullest
struggle, yet the reward is pleasurability of the free functional
activity; and the more manifold the functioning built up, the more
manifold the pleasure. Thus it is that a highly complex organism like
man, which represents many psychic ages of painful function building,
has a very high pleasure capacity. Every new adaptation when integrated
means a new pleasure. It is pleasurable to inhale fresh, cool air, but
the lung functioning itself has been built up by painful exertion in the
struggle for existence. Pleasure as reflex of functioning is merely then
conserving power. The immediately and intrinsically pleasure-giving acts
are not progressive, but merely hold life at the given and already
acquired status. But the most and largest pleasure is in the mere
expenditure of stored energy. The easiest way, the way of inclination
and obvious direct pleasure is regressive. It is living upon the past,
living upon accumulated capital bequeathed, and perhaps in some measure
acquired. The use of a stimulant, as alcohol, enables the capital to be
used up faster. As the systemic craving becomes greater with the
drunkard, the pleasure increases, and on the brink of dissolution he may
reach the extremest pleasure. In alcoholism the more injurious the
drink, the more violent the pleasure. The most rapid and destructive
using up of vital force in lust, revenge and other excitements gives the
keenest pleasure. The orgy, the chase, the prize ring, give the
expensive “thrill,” which is ecstatic pleasure. Debauchery and
alcoholism are quick ways of using the pleasure capacity which has been
built up by painful effort of thousands of generations. A taste
sensation, which was achieved as the highest effort of genius by some
very remote ancestor at a critical moment and attained by painful
sensing exertion, is finally after generations of severe volition
integrated, and becomes spontaneous activity, and reactive as free
pleasurable functioning. That is, in the early stages of tasting the
pleasure taken in it was by discriminating effort, a pleasure realized
by exertion as pleasures of artistic “taste” are now enjoyed by many
people; which pleasure may at length be so inwrought into psychism that
it occurs spontaneously. At least, we have no other clue to the origin
of pleasures except by judging from the present development of definite
pleasures in the case of man, which pleasures come only by effortful
cultivation, for instance, the highest pleasures of art. The whole range
of sense pleasures have been built up and capacity therefore has been
inherited, and may be used up with great intensity.

The largest and keenest sort of pleasures is from expenditure. Yet
storage in certain modes yields a moderate pleasure, as the pleasure of
rest, dozing after exercise. Here is a general spontaneous accumulation
of physical pleasure capacity, it is a case where functional repair has
become automatic, and thus far is analogous to the spontaneity of
pleasures of expenditure. But these storage pleasures are mainly
negative, relief only; and they are not the great positive corporeal
pleasures which are so largely sought. The drunkard gradually recovering
from a spree experiences feelings of relief, but he does not indulge in
his cups to feel the gradual recovery from the painful after effects.

No biologic or psychologic theory of pleasure and pain can yet be
enunciated which is fully explanatory. In fact, if pleasure-pain is the
primitive and fundamental fact, if it constitutes the worth of life and
is life, then it must explain other factors, but remain itself
unexplained. The theory of advantage and disadvantage fails signally,
for the most pleasurable act is frequently the most disadvantageous to
the interests of the organism, and the most advantageous—progressive
effortful volition—is invariably most painful. As to why the way of
conservation and upbuilding should be painful, why pleasure should not
be inherent in the progressive struggle rather than pain, is, at least
for the present, a philosophical problem; but the fact remains. We have
considered that struggle is pain-impelled and painful, and that pleasure
is resultant of functioning thereby established, and that all pleasure
capacity is painfully acquired. With the grand exception of this
singular and important fact, however, we can say that in natural
evolution—that is, before mind has become independent and artificial and
subjected itself to pathologic tendencies—the general law that pleasure
denotes favouring organic conditions, pain, unfavourable, may be
assumed. However, if the body is mere dependency and expression of mind,
the form of statement must be reversed; that is, a given pain or
pleasure is an acquirement by mind in its function building. I have
painful taste sensation of bitter, pleasant sensation of sweet, not as
originally reflex of bodily conditions, but the sensing power and the
organ, like all bodily specialization, is outcome of mind as struggle. A
typical consciousness—series of a low type which places pleasure in its
place is: pain (as from hunger)—struggle-sensing (as touching for
food)—desire (when food is recognised through sensing)—absorptive and
digestive effort and action—pleasure—struggle to continue and increase
pleasure—slight satiety pain—unconsciousness of sleep. So we do not
connect pleasure-pain as outcome of organic function in general or
particular, but function is outcome of pleasure-pain. It determines
function, and not function it. The feelings which prompted and developed
a functioning, and the correlate total—organism—necessarily involve a
very high complex, at least for any late psychism, and make a general
law of pleasure-pain impossible to determine under present conditions.
The _rationale_ of particular pleasures and pains can only be reached
through a thorough investigation of life history, an investigation which
in present circumstances seems in most cases beyond our powers. A great
mass of psychological _data_, and not any general theory, is the

                               CHAPTER IV

Should the term Feeling be made to include certain states of
consciousness which are neither pleasurable nor painful? Or should all
such neutral states be designated by some other term? We are concerned
here with an important matter of definition which implies an extensive
analysis of consciousness with reference to pleasure and pain. It will
not be difficult to find many so-called feelings which are neutral, or
seem to be so; but it is the duty of the psychologist to carefully
analyse all such states, and point out the proper use of the term

Common observation neglects minute analysis, and is unreliable when it
speaks of certain indifferent states as feelings. When a man speaks of
feeling queer, or strange, or bewildered, or surprised, and says that
the state of mind seemed neither agreeable nor disagreeable, we may
suspect that by a perfectly natural tendency he is extending the name
Feeling to closely-connected states of cognition or will. In
identification and definition common observation is for all sciences
notoriously untrustworthy, and especially in psychology; so on this
question the evidence of language and popular testimony counts for
little one way or the other. This is strikingly evident when people
speak of feeling indifferent as to some matter, meaning that they have
no feeling on the matter. The term Feeling is used in such a broad and
vague way that ‘I feel indifferent’ means ‘I am indifferent,’ ‘I have no
feeling.’ The mistake here is in using the word Feeling as an equivalent
to Ego, or any quality of Ego. A feeling of indifference is no feeling
at all. Popular evidence then, I believe, can be no guide in this
matter. In passing, I may also say that the very abundant use of analogy
by some writers on this subject seems to me ill-advised. Analogy does
very well to bring up the rear, but it is often very useless and
confusing as an advance-guard.

Prof. Bain (_Mind_, No. 53) insists that ideas tend to actualise
themselves by neutral intensity or excitement, which is feeling; or
rather, he says, a “facing-both-ways condition.” This last expression is
certainly not very helpful or satisfactory. Prof. Bain admits that
typical will is incited by pleasure and pain, but he maintains that
sometimes, as notably in imitation, will is stimulated by purely neutral
excitement or feeling. In the discussion of this subject much has been
said about excitement, and, as Mr. Sully has suggested, this requires
careful definition.

Reflection assures us that every mental activity has a certain
intensity, and the word Excitement may, in the most general sense,
denote this intensity. The intensity may be so slight as to be unnoticed
by the subject, and remain wholly unindicated to the keenest observer;
or it may be so strong as to be perfectly evident to both; or it may be
evident to the subject and not to the observer, or _vice versâ_. Thus
the obvious division of Excitement from this point of view is into
subjective, where it is immediately recognised and felt in the
consciousness of the subject, and objective, where it is unnoticed, or
noticed only by observer. Classifying by another principle, we may
distinguish Cognition-intensity, Feeling-intensity and Will-intensity,
and the natural subdivisions under these according to the accepted
subdivisions of mental activities. Excitement is not, however, generally
used in the large sense we have just mentioned, but as denoting
intensity of a high degree so as to be very noticeable to the subject,
or observer, or both.

It is plain that Excitement, as subjective intensity, is the only kind
which bears on the question under discussion. It is with excitement as a
feeling, _viz._, the feeling of intensity, and not with excitement as
quality of feeling, that is, intensity, that we have to deal, and it is
necessary that this distinction be clearly borne in mind. One may be
excited but not feel excited, may have intensity of feeling but not
feeling of intensity. Using the term, then, as equivalent to feeling of
intensity, it is to be noted that it is a reflex or secondary mental
state. It is the feeling resulting from consciousness of intensity of
consciousness. The intensity of any consciousness may increase to such a
point that it pushes itself into consciousness, first as mere
recognition of intensity, but immediately and most manifestly as feeling
of intensity. In rapid alternations of contrasted states, as of hope and
fear, intensity soon rises to such a degree that it forces its way into
consciousness as feeling of intensity. This feeling of intensity may be
itself either weak or intense. In very reflective natures, the cognition
and feeling of intensity may be reflex at any power: there may be
cognition of the intensity of cognition-of-intensity, etc., in
indefinite regression. Most persons stop with the single step in the

It is evident that as far as excitement is regarded merely as intensity,
as a fundamental element in all feeling and mental action, it is a
confusion of terms to apply quality to it, to speak of it as either
pleasurable, or painful, or neutral. Intensity of mental action has
degrees but not quality, just as pitch in sound has degree, but not
timbre or quality. Regarding excitement as feeling-of-intensity, it has
the general characteristics of all feelings, and is not more likely to
be neutral than any other feeling.

Taking the case of surprise, which is so frequently instanced as a
neutral feeling, let us analyse it with special reference to the
excitement as feeling of intensity of cognition. A typical case would be
the surprise from hearing thunder in January. The presentation is
quickly compared with a representation of observed order of facts, and
the disagreement of the two marked. This is so far purely cognitive
activity; but immediately connected with the perception of disagreement
is the forcible recognition of the breaking up of a more or less rigid
order. There is a disturbance in cognitive activity and the tension
breaks into consciousness as excitement, the feeling of intensity. The
conflict of a settled conviction with recent presentation intensifies
consciousness, and this intensity with the abrupt change in quantity and
quality of mental activity breaks into consciousness as intellectual
sense of shock accompanied and closely followed by feeling of
unpleasantness and pain. It is to be noted that when we come upon the
feeling-element in surprise we find pain. Surprise in the strict sense
is then the reflex act of consciousness in which the mind becomes aware
of and feels the sudden disturbance and tension set up in itself by the
sudden weakening of an established belief. The painful shock has some
relation to the force of the disturbing factor, but is more closely
connected with the strength of the belief assailed. The feeling of the
disagreement as pain is due to the fact that this disagreement impinges
on subjectivity, personal opinion and conviction, and the disturbance
will be more or less disagreeable according to the degree of personal
interest. Note that by exact statement the feeling is not painful, but
is the pain concomitant or resultant upon the mental perception. The
surprise for a person of rather weak habit of mind and of little
generalising power will be almost wholly intellectual. Disagreement will
be noted, but not felt. For one of strong intellectual interest, the
surprise will mean definite and acute pain. For a meteorologist who has
written a book stating that in this latitude thunder does not occur in
January the surprise might be very grievous. The intellectual element in
surprise is emphasized in the statement “I am surprised,” the
feeling-element in “I feel surprised.” If antecedent states of
representation, comparison and inner perception are placed under the
term feeling-of-surprise, we may expect consequent states to be likewise
easily confused. When one speaks of being agreeably or disagreeably
surprised, the pleasure or pain is not really, however, a part of the
surprise. The sense and feeling of intellectual destruction, which
constitutes surprise, is so quickly and thoroughly swallowed up in
pleasure in having hope realized, or in pain in having fear realized, as
the event may prove, that the term is naturally applied to what
engrosses attention. Thus, “It was a very pleasant surprise” means “The
surprise was followed by very pleasant consequences.” When I am
surprised by the arrival of an intimate friend whom I supposed a
thousand miles away, the mental disagreement, and the pain from conflict
of conception and perception, are quickly eliminated by the event
according with desire, and by the mind anticipating joys. We see, then,
how easily the antecedents and consequents of surprise are confounded
with surprise itself, which is the reflex act of consciousness
recognising and feeling sudden disturbance in intensity, quality and
quantity in cognitive activity. I conclude that surprise, as feeling, is
pain coloured by cognition of shock and by volition to avoid disturbing

Absorption in thought may be attended by what seems to be neutral
excitement, but is not really so. The intensity of thought may press
into consciousness as a knowledge and feeling of intensity, but so far
as it is a feeling it is indubitably pleasure or pain. This pleasure or
pain may remain as continuous undertone with frequently repeated
intrusion into full consciousness. Careful analysis in this case shows
that apparent neutrality results from a strong attendant recognition, or
from the natural volitions being quickly overruled by feelings
consequent upon other considerations. Intellectual men are not apt to be
guided by excitement. Professor Bain says that imitation is a test-case,
that this is a volition which is obviously stimulated by neutral
feeling. In some cases imitation seems clearly a mechanical, ideo-motor
affair, an instinctive action without either conscious feeling or
willing. In all other cases of imitation analysis will show excitant
pleasure or pain. As Preyer and others have shown in the case of young
children, mimicry arises mainly from pleasure in activity as such, and
not from its peculiar quality as imitation. For children, and often for
adults, imitation is simply a method of joyous and novel activity. The
stimulant in higher grades of imitation is pleasure in attainment. As
far as excitement is stimulant, it is, on the general principle before
stated, either pleasure or pain. The pleasant feeling of intensity will
tend toward continuance of imitative action, the unpleasant toward
discontinuance. The pleasurable sense of activity, as inciting and
continuing will in imitation, is a good example of excitement as feeling
of volition-intensity.

If volitional excitement as instanced in imitation, and cognitive
excitement, as exemplified in surprise and absorption of thought, cannot
be termed neutral, it is quite unlikely that we shall find any neutral
feeling-excitement. A person at a horse-race may at first have so small
a degree of pleasurable hope and painful fear aroused that the intensity
does not force itself into consciousness. The increasingly rapid
pendulum-swing of consciousness from hope to fear and back again becomes
soon so intense that this objective intensity of feeling forces its way
into conscious life as feeling of intensity. This excitement may be
mainly regarded as accompaniment, or it may be valued in itself as
excitement for excitement’s sake. This absorption in the feeling of
intensity is eagerly sought for by the _ennuyé_. The devoted
theatre-goer often induces both pleasures and pains simply for this
resultant feeling of tension which he regards as enjoyable for its own
sake. Feeling-excitement in the simpler and earlier form and in this
later artificial form is plainly pleasure or pain coloured by slight
element of cognition as recognition of intensity, and by volition in
continuing or in stopping the causative activity.

Bearing in mind the analysis of excitement just made, the true
interpretation of several matters which have been suggested is obvious
and clear. Mr. Johnson (_Mind_, xiii. 82) remarks that very intense
mental pleasure and pain tends to run into a state of neutral
excitement. This I interpret as the mental law that intensity of any
mental activity, of any pleasure or pain, tends to displace this
activity by feeling of intensity. This feeling of intensity is indeed
neutral as regards previous states—that is, it is not, of course, the
feeling whose intensity it feels; but, as I have sought to show, it is
nevertheless always pleasure or pain. Again, as to the question whether
states of mind equally pleasurable or painful may have different degrees
of excitement. If excitement means here subjective excitement, then I
answer that they do not have any degree of excitement, for feeling of
intensity can never be a quality of the feeling whose intensity is felt.
If excitement is the objective form, and refers to the intensity in
general, then, as has been before said, it is a confusion in terms to
apply the terms pleasure and pain to it. The anticipation suggested by
Mr. Johnson as a case of neutral excitement is precisely analogous to
the case of excitement at a horse-race, which has been analysed. Mr.
Johnson concludes that feeling is not only more or less pleasure or
pain, but also more or less excitement. The proper way of stating this
is: all feelings, including the feeling of excitement, consist of
pleasure or pain and have degrees of intensity.

Again, let me note the relation of intensity, and consequently feeling
of intensity, to quantity of consciousness—a subject suggested by Mr.
Sully (_Mind_, xiii. 252). The fundamental properties of
consciousness—quality, quantity, intensity—and also their
inter-relations, would be a fruitful theme for extended discussion. I
think that the clearing-up of many problems would result from thorough
investigation and careful definition in these points; but at present I
can only offer a remark or two upon the subject. It is plain that
intensity varies with different qualities, that certain kinds of mental
action are more generally characterised by high degrees of intensity
than others. Presentations tend to higher intensities than
representations, and pains than pleasures. It is noticeable that our
psychological nomenclature, both popular and scientific, is mostly
concerned with qualities, which shows that quantities and intensities
have not received the attention they deserve, and have not been
carefully discriminated. A representation of the same house comes up in
the minds of two persons, one of whom has lived in it, the other merely
seen it several times. Each psychosis is as representative as the other:
they have the same quality, but in quantity and intensity they vary
greatly. In a single multiplex act of consciousness, the former embraces
a wide reach of detail and association and a high degree of intensity
which is lacking in the meagre and faint image of the latter.
Physiologically, quantity is as the mass of co-ordinate coincident
activities of brain in highest centres, and intensity is as the arterial
and nervous tension in the highest centres. Intensities may be equal,
and quantities very unequal; as compare one greatly interested in a game
of cards with a person watching a near relative at a critical moment of
illness. Intensity of pleasurable hope alternating with painful fear may
be equal in both cases, but in quantity the latter would tend to exceed.
Very quiet natures are often characterised by largeness of quantity of
consciousness. Other things being equal, intensity tends to reduce
quantity and obscure quality of consciousness. Quantity, like intensity,
may cause a reflex act of consciousness when it becomes so great as to
push into consciousness as recognition and feeling of quantity; and as a
feeling of largeness, elevation and mental power it is clearly
distinguishable from excitement as feeling of intensity. Intensity is
dependent on the force or strength by which a mental state tends to
persist against other states which may be crowding in, and it is also
closely connected with rapidity of mental movement; but it is primarily
tension, consciousness at its highest stretch, specially as touching
upon interest, an element more or less involved in all consciousness.

It would seem highly desirable, in order to keep clear the distinction
between intensity and feeling-of-intensity, to restrict the term
Excitement to the latter meaning, and substitute the general term
Intensity for all objective excitement so-called. It is also greatly to
be desired that the reflex states which arise from sudden or great
changes in quality, quantity and intensity of consciousness, and which
are commonly termed feelings, should receive more general attention from
psychologists than heretofore. I have in this paper essayed something in
this direction, but it is a very large field, and comparatively

However, so far as the problem of feeling as indifference is concerned,
enough has been said on Excitement and Intensity, and I shall now
consider Neutralisation as giving neutral feeling, a method suggested by
Mr. Johnson (_Mind_, xiii. 82), and developed by Miss Mason (xiii. 253).
Does a feeling, neutral as regards pleasure and pain, result from the
union in one consciousness of a pleasure and pain of equal intensities?
Is there a composition of equal pleasure-pain forces so that resultant
equals zero? Such a question implies a clear apprehension of what is
meant by being in consciousness, and as to the possibility of perfect
coincidence and equality in mental activities. It is plain that so far
as consciousness is linear, neutralisation cannot occur. Where there is
but one track, and but one train at a time, collision is impossible.
Mental states often appear coexistent while they are really consecutive.
It is doubtful whether pain from toothache and pleasure from music ever
appear in absolute synchronism in consciousness, but they may alternate
so rapidly sometimes as to appear synchronous to uncritical analysis. To
a man drowning, a lifetime of conscious experience seems condensed into
a few seconds. This means a consciousness made very sensitive and very
rapid in its movement, and which acts like a camera taking pictures with
a lightning-shutter. Even if a pleasure and pain did coincide, it is
probable that in no case would they be exactly equal. In mental life as
in organic life every product has an individuality: as every leaf
differs from every other leaf, so every mental state is on completest
observation _sui generis_. This is evidently a most delicate
investigation, but I doubt whether it can ever be shown that two equal
pleasures and pains ever appear in the same sense in consciousness at
the same time. Practically equal pleasures and pains in consecutive
consciousness lead to vacillation, and the secondary pain of alternation
and excitement drives intelligent agents to new activity, or in stupid
agents the alternation may be carried to exhaustion.

It is undoubtedly true that consciousness, in all the higher forms at
least, is a complex; yet full and complete consciousness is probably of
one element only, and the remaining portion of the nexus grades off into
subconsciousness and unconsciousness. There is a network of coexistent
states of consciousness in different degrees in mutual reaction, each
striving for dominance but only one at a time reaching it. Some portions
of the nexus, as Ego-tone, are quite permanent elements. The light of a
large and brilliant consciousness may illumine a considerable area, but
brightness most certainly diminishes in rapid ratio as the distance
increases from attention, the single point of greatest illumination. A
highly developed brain may sustain a highly complex consciousness, but
it is only at the point of highest functional activity that we find the
physiological basis of a full consciousness. While high grades of mental
life are so complex, we do not find anywhere a mental compound. Two
diverse or opposite elements never combine into a compound which is
totally unlike either. Close analysis will fail to reveal any process of
neutralisation or combination whereby we experience neutral states of

I have endeavoured to set forth the real nature of certain so-called
neutral feelings; but at the bottom the question is, as was at first
intimated, a matter of definition. Is it best to restrict the term
Feeling to pleasurable and painful states of consciousness, or is it
advisable for clearness and definiteness to widen the use of the
term so as to include certain neutral states? From such analysis as
has been made, I doubt the advisability. Appeal in such matters must
always be made to analysis, and the advantage must be shown for a
concrete example. The _a priori_ idea or general impression that
pleasure and pain is too small a basis for all feeling has no real
weight. Moreover, it must always be borne in mind that psychology,
like all other sciences, deals only with phenomena and not with
essences, not with mind but with mental manifestations, not with
feeling as mental entity having properties, being pleasurable,
painful, etc., but with these qualities in and for themselves. Thus
the metaphysical fallacy hidden in such common expressions as
“pleasurable and painful feelings” is to be constantly guarded
against. The feeling is not pleasurable or painful, but is the
pleasure or the pain. The feeling has no independent being apart
from the attributes which in common usage are attached to it, nor is
there any general act of consciousness with which these properties
are to be connected. As indicated at the beginning of this paper,
this common tendency has its psychological basis in the bringing
under the term Feeling some of the more permanent elements of
consciousness—especially the Ego-sense—which stand for metaphysics
as beings and entities having properties. Knowledge, Feeling, Will,
are for nominalistic science simply general terms denoting the three
groups of mental phenomena which seem to stand off most clearly and
fundamentally from each other, and Pleasure and Pain are most
clearly and fundamentally set over against Knowing and Willing. It
does not seem that Professor Bain and others have made plain to us
any better differentia.

If this definition of Feeling seems the best that descriptive
classification can give us, it is certainly enforced by genetic
considerations. The key to a really scientific classification lies in
the history of mind in the individual and race. The greatest progress in
psychology is not to be attained by the psychologist continually
reverting to his own highly developed consciousness, but, as in all
sciences, the study of the simple must be made to throw light upon the
complex. Mentality like life is a body of phenomena whose forms cannot
be separated by hard and fast lines into orders, genera, species; but
there is a continuous development of radical factors. In the earliest
forms of mind we find the most radical distinctions most clearly and
simply set forth, and what Feeling is at first, it is by continuity of
development the same for ever after. The earliest indications of
conscious life show merest trace of apprehension of object, some organic
pleasure and pain, considerable striving and effort. Mental evolution,
like all evolution, is not by the elimination but by the expansion of
its primal factors; and by the continuous amplification and
intensification of these the highest development is reached. Pleasure
and pain remain then for all consciousness as constant factors; and if
the term Feeling is to indicate one element in tripartite mind, it must
be held to this meaning of pleasure and pain. Pleasure and pain in their
most complicated colourings from developed knowledge and will, and in
their most subtle interactions, remain true to the primal type; and when
we find a state of consciousness in which neither is a dominant factor,
we had best denote it by some other term than Feeling. This evolutionary
reason seems to me the strongest one for making the term Feeling signify
states of pleasure or pain, and, as I have suggested (_Mind_, xi. 74-5),
a genetic classification of the feelings must proceed upon this basis.

                               CHAPTER V
                        _EARLY DIFFERENTIATION_

A blind psychic life of pure feeling cannot long avail in the sharp
struggle of existence, for to all stimulations it secures only two crude
reactions, a spasmodic, defensive activity from pain, and an
appropriative motion from pleasure. This perfectly subjective
consciousness can serve only the earliest and crudest demands of life;
but as the struggle for existence becomes fiercer, the more delicate and
definite reactions, which can only come through cognition, are required.
All that we can say as to the origin of knowledge in general is that it
arose, or rather was achieved, like other conscious and extra-conscious
functions, in answer to the pressing demands of the organism; and so far
as we can see, it does not seem to be evolved from any pre-existing
consciousness or any common basis of mind. It is a distinct type of
consciousness, and so utterly diverse that we cannot trace any psychical
continuity. However, we can remark this,—that perfect objectifying is
not at once achieved, but cognition must be regarded as beginning in a
very minute and obscure germ in some intense feeling state. Yet this
germ does not seem to have a direct psychical connection with the pure
feeling by which it is excited into existence, but it is a reaction to
an opposite mode more diverse from pleasure and pain than these are from
each other. Moreover, according to the law of evolution by struggle,
this first cognition does not _come_ to mind, but is _achieved_ only in
most intense will act, comparable for relative intensity to the
knowledge originated by severest effort of a man in danger of his life
listening to a barely audible sound, or watching a barely visible object
on a distant horizon. The evolution point for all life is in stress and
strain, and this is the law of the development of sensation at all times
in psychic history.[A]


Footnote A:

  Cf. my remarks in _Psychological Review_, vol. ii. pp. 53 ff.


Cognition undoubtedly began as a very crude sensation, as the barest
movement towards objectifying sense, as a pure sensation without any
image form, any direct perception of an object. In the order of
disappearance of elements from consciousness, we note that sensation
maintains itself through a long series, and is the last stage before
pure feeling sets in. As heat stimulus is increased, sense of heat
begins at a certain point, and increases up to a certain intensity of
the stimulus and to a certain intensity of its own, when it rapidly
vanishes, and in the agony on the verge of unconsciousness is lost in
pure pain. We note also that the cognition of object, of thing,
disappears before the sensation of heat does. A person burning to death
is for a time conscious of the fire, which consciousness at length is
lost in intense painful sensations of heat; and this in turn, at the
acme of consciousness entirely disappears, leaving only pure pain.
Further, the rise to full consciousness, as well as the fall to
unconsciousness, also suggests bare sensation as the original cognition.
If a hot iron be applied to one in deep sleep, the order of waking
consciousness—apart from any dream order—is pure pain, then sensation of
heat, then awareness of hot object, and also of part heated and paining.
In our ordinary consciousness it is certainly very hard to even
partially isolate the various elements. Sometimes, however, a person
will say, “I have such a queer pain; I do not know what it is.” The
psychosis thus indicated is evidently pain with a movement towards a
sensation which yet is not realized. Sensation does not come though it
is looked for; there is pain only, and unqualified save by the
peculiarity of being unidentified. The sense of lack of sensation
bewilders, because sensation is so constant for our psychic life; but in
primitive mind there is no such feeling of queerness when sensation does
not _come_, or it is not able to _attain_ it. This inwrought tendency to
sense all our pains and pleasures, and to feel the lack if we do not, is
evidently the result of a long evolution. Sensation is thus seen to be
an activity which we exercise to give definition to our pure feelings;
there is something unfulfilled for us if sensation does not _come_, and
we may thus go out for it and interpret the pain in sense form by a
will-effort. Primitive mind, however, does not achieve its sensations as
incited by this indefinite sense of lack-queerness or strangeness, but
through pain at some critical moment to obtain a suitable reaction. All
sensation is at first, as we even now can faintly realize, by a severe
effort, and is not a spontaneous, incoming impression. Paradoxical as is
the expression, “we learn to know,” yet it contains a truth in that
cognition is an attainment incited by the necessities of the organism.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and knowledge is at first an
invention which the organism hits upon to help it in the exigencies of
experience. In early and even in later consciousness it is probable that
the majority of pleasures and pains are so dull in intensity that they
do not rouse sensation, and comparatively few incite as far as to
perception. A close analysis of our own consciousness even will show
many pleasures and pains, many vague states of uneasiness and
discomfort, and many of organic pleasure and comfort, which lead to
nothing and come to nothing for either sensation or perception. These
states stand alone by themselves, and vanish with little effect on
either mind or body. They constitute the outer fringe of consciousness
where all mentality starts, and under sufficient pressure of
life-interest develops into great fulness and complexity, or, when of
comparatively little value to the organism, they disappear suddenly and
completely. I am inclined also to think that close scrutiny will
sometimes reveal for psychical life, as for the physical, certain
entirely useless survivals, undifferentiated feelings of some types, and
probably also some pure sensations.

I conceive then that the fundamental order of consciousness is not, as
usually set forth, pure sensation with accompanying pleasure and pain,
but the reverse—pure pleasure and pain with accompanying sensation; and
only by a very gradual evolution indeed did pure feeling bring in
sensation, which is thus always sequent and not accompaniment. We
commonly inquire as to a sensation, Was it pleasurable or painful? but
the true form of inquiry is, Was the pain or pleasure senseful? Did it
attain to bringing in the qualifying element of a sensation, and in what

The qualifying of pure feeling to attain actions suitably differentiated
for distinct forces must have proceeded very slowly, and have had the
dimmest beginning. We cannot suppose that consciousness attained at once
and easily to a manifold of sense, much less have had this brought to
it, involuntarily received. The earliest forms of sensations were no
doubt of those affections of the body produced by heat, pressure, and
other elements which determine most vitally the existence of the
organism. The first sensation indeed was undoubtedly not in any
particular mode, but was a bare and undifferentiated form. It was some
such indefinite and general sensation as we may sometimes detect near
the vanishing-point of consciousness just before pure pain state occurs.
For example, the sense of heat as such is lost at a given temperature
for a given case, and there exists for a moment a vague general
sensation, sensation _per se_, before mere pain absorbs all
consciousness. Sensation at its very origin was not sense of any kind,
sense of heat, pressure, etc., but a mere undifferentiated sense of
bodily affection. The body is not, of course, apprehended as object, but
there is a vague attributing and qualifying which marks the state as
more than purely central, as being a real objectifying. Toothache, for
instance, implies ache before the toothache, and this general aching is
the type of early unorganized sensation. Pain is the essence of the
state, and is throughout dominant, the cognition in mere aching being a
very minor element. “I was awakened in the night by a toothache,” is the
objective description of a triple movement in consciousness, pain, ache,
toothache. The earliest cognitive experiences were all of this very
general type of sensation, which becomes gradually more definitely
localized and qualified as distinct modes of sensation; pain-hunger,
pain-heat, pain-pressure, and corresponding pleasure-sensations are
differentiated. Subtract the mere pain from hunger state and from
painful sensation of heat, and we have certain _quales_ which are
difficult to analyse, but which are cognitive in nature. Diverse bodily
affections are _sensed_ diversely instead of being _felt_ in one mode,
pure feeling.

We have far outgrown the sensation-cognition psychic stage, and speaking
of psychic history in biologic terms, it belongs to the early palæozoic.
We have yet to formulate the succession of psychic ages, in each of
which some distinct psychic power attains dominancy, and produces minds
as diverse from ours as the organisms of past ages are different from
our own bodies. As already pointed out, it is an extremely difficult
problem to realize by subjective method these ancient types. A mere
general sensation is a very rare phenomenon in our ordinary
consciousness, and even special sensations rarely occur in pure form. To
realize what sensation of heat is for a simple consciousness, we must
strip our minds bare of most of their furnishings, for all our
sensations of heat are interpreted with reference to visual and tactual
objects which must be non-existent for early consciousness. Sensation
for us is a complex of sensations _plus_ perceptions and other cognitive
and emotional elements which lie beyond early mind, but which by an
inevitable automorphism we interpret into early forms. This automorphism
with the child is complete, and is never perfectly effaced even in the
most accomplished psychologist. A life of simple feeling, or of this
_plus_ simple sensation is most difficult of realization; still we may
have reason to believe that the psychic life of a low type consists
wholly in repeated pains and pleasures occasionally rising so high that
consciousness reaches to a vague general sensation, or rarely to a
thrill of heat, or sense of hunger or pressure. Of course, in all cases
we assume will-activity.

And we have to emphasize this again, that all sensation, like all pain,
while always from objects is never of objects. The objective description
here, as usual, does not give the inner state. Our automorphic tendency
leads us inevitably to regard the order in which we perceive the
organism to be effected by external objects to be its received order.
But a little reflection always convinces us that this is in the nature
of the case an erroneous procedure, that what happens within
consciousness is not primarily any cognition of a world of objects, nor
an apprehension of them in any form. Sensation, while objective by
virtue of being cognition, is not in any way a realization of object,
but is objective only toward the dynamic within the individual organism,
and is not apprehension of static wholes of any kind. It is an
objectifying to force, not to things, and this in the modes of
physiological affection. It is not appreciation of a something, but of a

In the earliest stage of mind, as has been before noticed, all manner of
material causes rouse nought more than a pure feeling mode; heat,
pressure, electricity, sound, light, nutriment or its absence, if they
attain to waken the function of consciousness, accomplish no more than
pure feeling as bare pain and pleasure. It is, of course, natural to
conceive that from the first consciousness, responds objectively in
sensation in as many modes as organism is moved by external and internal
forces; but a multiform sense origin of consciousness is not borne out
by the general tendency and law of evolution, nor yet by such special
indications in consciousness as we are able to observe. When a very
young infant seems to reach pleasurably to warmth, if we are correct in
positing consciousness at all, it is still very unlikely that there is
sense of warmth, but the state is probably pure pleasure; and if there
is sense of warmth, it did not give the pleasure, but the reverse. We
believe likewise that it is probable that a consciousness response to
nutriment is, at first, mere pleasure, and only, secondarily, organic
sensation. Thus, warmth and nutriment effect, but only, at first, in the
one mode of pure feeling, and secondly, pure sensation as general
organic satisfaction. Lastly arises a differencing in consciousness for
the different bodily changes. And the multiformity of stimulus and
paucity of consciousness in modes while so very apparent in early mind
is yet always found in all grades of psychic life. The responsiveness of
consciousness is never perfected, and mind has a practically infinite
field for the acquirement of sensation, for appreciating what has never
affected consciousness, or which mind has felt or known only by some
general mode. The infant, no doubt, has many pains for which it has no
sensation values. These pains, perfectly pure and undifferentiated the
one from the other, have had their occasion in a variety of physical
changes. A native of the tropics, who on first touching ice says it
burns, has at first but a single sensation for very diverse physical
affections; but he soon attains an icy sensation, that ice feels not
burning, but stinging cold. Men, civilized and educated, often are
consciously affected by bodily changes of which they are wholly
incognizant, the psychosis being not specialized according to the mode
of change. In degraded states of consciousness, which come to all, there
often appears obscure feeling and sensation, which is a practically
single mode of answer to a very wide variety of physical excitation. In
realizing the variety of external objects and changes the mind proceeds
but slowly, each new form always at first in pure feeling. It is only as
something affects feeling and interest that we ever come to know it or
its manifestations in physiological change.

Sensations are, then, by no means such original and simple elements of
mind as often conceived; but they are developed forms of some general
undifferentiated cognitive state, sensation as bare apprehension of
bodily disturbance, and this itself cannot be accounted absolutely
original. The evolution into particular modes of sensation, as sense of
heat, hunger, light, pressure, etc., is in the struggle for existence
gradually achieved, and also therewith the evolution of special
sense-organs. And we must always bear in mind that it is not the
sense-organ that develops the sensation, but on the contrary the effort
at sensing that produces, maintains, and improves the sense-organ. The
eagle’s eye has been developed by unceasing straining as incited by the
necessities of existence felt in pain and pleasure. It is natural for us
at our stage of development to suppose that the organs of sense _give_
sensations and to explain the sensation by the physiological organ; but
when we reflect that sensations _come_ to us from the organ only up to
the measure of the momentum from heredity, we see the insufficiency of
purely physiological interpretation. Evolution to-day is on the same
basis as evolution at any period, and as it always has been, it always
will be, dependent upon a ceaseless _nisus_. It is only by painstaking
effort—labour—that man progresses in sensibility, and this effort has
always an incentive in some form of interest that is pleasure-pain
basis. Thus it is that the astronomer’s eye, the microscopist’s eye, the
artist’s eye, is formed. The multiform sensibility of the tea-taster is
attained by assiduous tasting, and the development in organ only follows
_pari passu_. What is seemingly simple and original in sensation for us
was, no doubt, like the very special forms of sensibility acquired by
our specialist, achieved by the lower forms painfully and toilfully, and
passed on to us. Our highest feats of sensation and insight may likewise
for our remote descendants be intuitions, whose apparently simple nature
may be asserted as the basis of philosophic systems. A genius is one who
antedates the general stage of progress of his period by having as
intuitions, as seemingly direct and simple knowledges and sensations,
what is beyond or barely within the intensest effort of his
contemporaries, though it may become common and easy for all men of
later ages.

The moving factors, the active agents in the evolution of consciousness,
are not, I think, sense-impressions of any kind; these are the results,
rather than the incentives, of mental evolutions. Mind acquires its
whole sense outfit, and receives no cognition whatever ready-made. It is
hard, indeed, for us to put ourselves at the point of view of
acquirement of what seem to us simple impressions of sense; but the
difficulty is only of the same general nature as to understand how what
seem to be direct perceptions of things in space are really indirect.
The progress of psychology will, in my opinion, tend to show more and
more that _givens_ of all kinds are such in appearance only, and that
mind in its essence is purely a feeling-effort.

The differentiation of action secured through sensation and its
differentiations is evidently of the utmost importance to life, but
still the objectivity secured is small. In the pure feeling stage,
reaction is a very hit-and-miss affair, and in pure sensation stage it
is but little better. Guided only by present sensations, the organism in
the struggle for existence is blind to all objects, and, knowing not
itself nor other objects, anticipatory action is entirely beyond its
power. The growth of mind is to secure delicacy and precision of
adjustment with largest time and space extension, and the achievement of
objectification was a _tour de force_ of the highest value. The
exigencies of life-struggle lead comparatively early from cognition of
mode of affection to the cognition of thing affecting. Perception arises
to supplement sensation, and full objectification opens the way for
intelligent activities. Thing or object is first, no doubt, apprehended
tactually; but the sense of touch is, of course, acquired before
cognition of thing touched. We, indeed, find it difficult to appreciate
this, since in touch we constantly apprehend things as in contact with
us; still, if in some very sluggish state, as deep sleep, when the
varied and correlated life of sensation with perception is practically
_nil_, a rough object be made to bear upon the body as a lump in the
mattress, it is evident that consciousness begins as bare pain, then
general uneasiness as bare general sensation, then sense of touch, and
finally cognition of object by means of and through the touch sensation.
The sense of thing touched follows on sense of touch. This general order
may be illustrated from a squib in a comic paper of the day. A swell
finding a friend sitting by an open window on a cold day asks him if he
does not feel cold. He answers, “Ya-as; I guess I do. I knew theah was
something the mattah with me; I suppose it must be cold.” The threefold
movement in this noodle’s mind as evidenced by his words, is, first,
feeling pain; second, a something the matter, _i.e._, general sensing
and objectifying thereupon; third, particularizing to feeling cold. He
has simply gone back to primitive process. Touch or other sensation is
in itself no more than an objectification of physiological change, and
calls up no object whatever. In pure sensation there is no image of
anything, but it is merely a peculiar modifying of pleasure-pain
according to mode of physiological stimulus. A heat thrill does not
include objectification to any existences, not even to the physical body
of the organism sensing.

It is only by and through sense of physiological disturbance that
awareness of object is achieved. Intense sensation stimulates to full
cognition, to complete act of objectifying. This tendency of sensation
is illustrated by the common saying, “hunger sharpens wit”; and certain
it is that presentation of food objects is arrived at only by this
stimulus. The earliest objectifying, no doubt, arose from a
pain-sensation of some kind; but this primitive cognition of object was
purely general, just as primitive sensation was purely general. A world
of objects is not at first and at once attained, but only object barely
as such, dim awareness of a mere mass. In the earliest stage every
presentation is of a bare objectivity, so that one cognition differs
from another in no wise as regards content. This mere thing, which is
first full cognition content, is next to no-thing. When we try to
conceive this thing we inevitably foist in some special sensation and
perception, most generally sense of light and seeing; and the
explication just made in the previous sentence was undoubtedly
understood by the reader in visual terms. Our apprehension of object is
correlation of several modes, and it is most difficult to intimate in
any wording what bare undifferentiated apprehension of object may be. If
the embryology of mind were more thoroughly studied, we should
understand in some measure, for this stage most probably occurs in the
very earliest activities of every human and animal mind. A _totum
objectivum_, which is thing and nothing more, is, perhaps, occasionally
observable in our own consciousness when at very low ebb—at such times
when pure feeling and pure sensation become possible phases.

This general, undifferentiated cognition of object and all the special
forms therefrom developed must always be accounted as coming about in no
spontaneous way, but as attained and supported through will activity of
an intense form. Perception of object is not in any true sense impressed
from without, nor yet in any true sense is it a native faculty or power.
It is not more or less freely constructed out of more or less given
data. It is the necessities of life that bring mind to achieve full
cognition; and this alone is the first cause of cognition, which is
always in its inception cognitive effort toward objective realities,
towards a world of things. These objects, among which and in close
relation to which some single object, organism, must live—this is the
common postulate of all biologic science, psychology included—constitute
a world. The living object is such by virtue of the simplest
consciousness, a feeling-will, as absolutely essential to any
advantageous action. It is by this root-form, feeling-will, that
cognition is ultimately accomplished, and not by virtue of any
imprinting of objects upon mind as in some measure a _tabula rasa_, nor
yet in any purely subjective construction of object. Object is revealed
neither from without nor from within; it is achieved solely as a guide
to advantageous action in the struggle for existence. Of course, the
mind does not knowingly reach knowledge, does not foreknow it and its
advantage in order to attain it; this is a contradiction in terms, and
profects backward a highly refined teleology. All we do at present is to
simply assume it as law that serviceable consciousnesses, cognition and
others, are inevitably attained in the stress of existence. For the
science of psychology, metaphysics apart, this is the best standpoint,
and all we can now say. The confirmation of an organism’s activity,
cognitive and otherwise, as serviceable, is in feeling pain and
pleasure, which is the original mode in which objects excite
consciousness or consciousness reacts to them. It is in feeling as the
starting point that cognition is determined and maintained. We cannot
scientifically speak of any mental process as native, that is, mind
itself is not native. By the very term original we exclude inborn. The
first consciousness occurred, it was merely event, useful event; and if
we further say it was acquired, we probably say what agrees best with
biology as a whole. It is impossible at present to discuss whether or
not mind may be a primitive vital function, for where life begins or
ends is itself a most obscure problem; but whether it be primary or
secondary, mind in no form is properly native, that is a pure given, but
we simply say the function is displayed, as we speak of nutrition or
reproduction. In the organism we see something which has nutritive,
reproductive, motor processes, perhaps also consciousness processes; and
so far as there is any problem as to the nature of consciousness as
native function it belongs to a general biologic problem. As to the
question as to whether cognition or what cognitions are original and
simple in all mind, we have already excluded the whole field of
cognition from this position.

Does the general objectification, the first stage in cognition of
object, have any special function for the developed presentation forms
of later consciousness? Mr. Ward, in his suggestive article in the
_Encyclopædia Britannica_, seems to intimate that it has. He says (p.
50), "Actual presentation consists in this _continuum_ being
differentiated and every differentiation constitutes a new
presentation.“ Mr. Ward in this connection sets forth that
presentation-continuity in consciousness is determined by a
presentation-continuum which is ”_totum objectivum_." Presentation
activity is fundamentally a differentiating of this constant element. We
might compare this _continuum_ to an ocean from whose surface rise
waves, particular presentations, which subside again into the parent
sea, which ever remains as the constant basis of all wave movements.

Now the question of _continua_ is a very broad one. Do the early stages
of consciousness, pure feeling, pure sensation, pure objectivity, remain
as constituting the basic bulk of all higher consciousness, and is all
higher consciousness but differentiation of these as well as from these,
that is, is it no more than differentiating activity kept up on a vast
series of levels and sub-levels? Or are we to regard them as regressive
stages to which developed consciousness rarely returns? May we consider
that there is a certain histology of mind, that certain primitive forms,
like tissues in the body, constitute the inner and constant structure of

The theory of _continua_, be it observed, in its fulness requires a
numberless series of levels and sub-levels supporting one another, for a
high form of consciousness pre-supposes an indefinite series of
antecedent stages. While any highly differentiated consciousness is
going on it must be an actual differentiating of the preceding stage,
which is therefore coincident and pre-existent to it, and this latter in
turn must have its supporting continuum, and so on down _ad infinitum_.
The theory makes mind a wheel within wheel of bewildering intricacy. Yet
mind in this point of view has a certain analogy with the physiological
status of the higher organisms, for example, the human body is colonial,
is constituted of a multitude of cells, a simple type of organisms, by
whose consentaneous activity the whole body is animate.

One objection to this theory is that it confounds functioning with
differentiating. Not every act of consciousness is by its very nature a
differentiating, a movement toward specialization. Consciousness is on
the whole more often regressive than progressive, and very often
practically neither, as for example, in all instinctive, habitual, and
spontaneous activities.

But again, while differentiating act certainly pre-supposes the
undifferentiated, does it require coincidence? For instance, vision as
ordinary form, receiving impressions, certainly contains no _totum
objectivum_ activity, but also as differentiating act, as intense visual
effort reaching to higher development, it generally, at least, seems
free from any lower stage, and is engrossed in itself. Since we make the
prime cause of all mental development and differentiation in will, we do
not need any undifferentiated general ground remaining in consciousness
as basic element, nor does analysis of consciousness show this constant
element. Successive phases of presentation development are attained
through effort, but one does not gradually grow and branch out of the
other by a purely inward _impetus_ of its own. I believe, indeed, that
the inner life of mind consists in its original forms, and that they
remain in late mind not merely as useless survivals but having a
distinct functional value; but I do not see how any or all of the
general stages of mentality constitute _continua_ for consciousness of
higher types. Instead of being constant basal elements they occur and
are blotted out with such rapidity that reflection can very rarely
identify them (_vide_ p. 63). They are lost and swallowed up in complex
consciousness so quickly as to leave no trace upon memory, and they do
not subsist or continue throughout the complex forms. They are then the
very opposite of _continua_, being, in fact, the most evanescent of
mental phenomena. Consciousness in all higher forms, as the human mind,
must and does mount the main steps of its very early growth with
marvellous rapidity and leaves them entirely behind. The more primitive
the stage the more quickly it vanishes, till often it seems to appear in
tendency form only, or be thrown into a subconsciousness. Primitive
types exercise a most important but fleeting influence in advanced
consciousness which rises through them most rapidly and easily, but in
the less advanced the contrary is the case. The Australian savages, as
observed by Lumholtz, came to their senses and reached a full awakening
in the morning very slowly as compared with civilized men. With dull
children likewise we observe how slowly they awaken. All regressive
forms reach but slowly to their full consciousness and dwell long in
intermediate stages. But in all cases when higher forms enter the lower
disappears, when varied perception enters in awakening, then the
preceding dim general objectivity is wholly obliterated.

It will be remarked that admitting, as we do, the constant existence in
mental life of feeling as pleasure and pain, we thereby make this a real
_continuum_. But we may say that consciousness is never without a
pleasure-pain constituent and yet not assert a _continuum_.
Consciousness continually possesses some pleasure-pain element, but this
is not a feeling as continuous state, as an underlying differentiating
basis pleasures and pains as diverse independent states are essential
incentives in all consciousness, but they do not constitute a single

Of course, every consciousness, as long as it continues, is in this very
general sense a _continuum_, but no form of consciousness, primitive or
advanced, can, with one exception, be called a _continuum_, as a single
mode running through and unifying a long stretch of varied
consciousnesses. This exception is the complex element of ego-tone.
Early mind is no more than a kaleidoscopic jumble, with no one
organizing and unifying element. Even when consciousness from happening
in purely disconnected flashes attains first a certain limited
continuity, this is not by means of some conscious element persisting
through a series, but merely signifies that as fast as one consciousness
dies out, another takes its place, _i.e._, the continuity is purely
formal and temporal. It is through self-consciousness alone that any
real _continuum_ is achieved in and for consciousness, and this ego-tone
is far from being primitive.

The sensation and objectifying as discussed in this chapter in
connection with feeling, both pain and pleasure, constitutes complex
states of consciousness which may be termed a feeling when the pain or
pleasure is dominant, or a cognition when the sensing and objectifying
is dominant. Thus by a feeling I understand a state of consciousness
which is either entirely or dominantly pain or pleasure, the former
being pure feeling, the latter mixed feeling. This latter class
constitutes the feelings properly so-called, as varied pains and
pleasures, the variation element being the cognition in some form.
Feeling as being in different kinds is made such by the differentiation
of cognition. Thus hunger is neither a pure sensation—that is by pure
sensation meaning not absolutely pure, for pleasure or pain is
invariable incentive concomitant, but sensation pure from any distinct
mode of apprehension, as merely general and undifferentiated—nor yet is
hunger pure pain, but it is the combination of a certain definite
sensing, beyond the pure stage, with pain. Hunger is a feeling when the
pain aspect is dominant, is cognition when sensation aspect is dominant.
The confusion in the use of the terms sensation and feeling comes from
the difficulty in determining dominancy in given cases. Certainly the
exact line where feeling of hunger passes into sensation of hunger can
be settled only by the most careful discrimination, but at any great
remove from this line the character of the state is very manifest. By no
effort can we separate the sensing from the pain so as to have nothing
but sensation, though the attributing to bodily affection does in the
incipient stages of hunger become dominant, but as hunger increases,
pain becomes dominant, and ultimately the end as the beginning is pure
pain. We say, “I _feel_ hungry,” for all stages when any sensing is
present, and this indiscriminate popular use of the word “feel,” has
tended to obscure the real nature of the whole mentality. The same line
of remark applies to feeling thirsty, feeling hot, etc.

                               CHAPTER VI
                      _REPRESENTATION AND EMOTION_

“I feel cold,” and “I feel afraid of cold,” are expressions which denote
two tolerably distinct feelings. The main characteristic which
distinguishes the second feeling as an emotion is obviously
representation. In the first case, I have pain with presentation of the
cold, in the second, pain with the mere representation of the cold. If I
feel cold, I have direct and immediate experience; if I fear the cold, I
have an experience in view of experience, pain at pain. When one says,
“I have a violent pain in my head,” and a friend answers, “I am deeply
pained to hear it,” we recognise at once the fundamental distinction
between sensation and emotion. We have in this chapter to discuss some
points as to the rise and nature of emotion in its relation to

The theory which we have been elaborating is that pure pleasure and pain
are the original and causative elements in the whole realm of mind. Pure
feeling is the most direct and necessary, and so the first response in
conscious form, to all stimuli, and it is the incitement to all
cognitive activity in its inception and growth. The harm and good to
organism, are at once, and most quickly realized in terms of pure
feeling, and the painful necessities in the struggle for existence, lead
to a continuous development from this point. Dominant pleasure and pain,
with the different presentation forms, constitute different feelings, as
of warmth, hunger, cold, etc., to which some fuller objectification may
be added. Adjustment is thereby made manifold, but only with present
stimulus. There is no appreciation of the experienceable. All that is
attained is immediate present apprehension which in no wise suggests or
interprets, but which is strictly self-contained.

We must, indeed, acknowledge that no consciousness, save, of course, the
very first, can exist in perfect isolation totally unaffected by any
other. The second conscious activity was not a perfect facsimile of the
first, and its variation is due at least in the main to the precedent
mentality. What is, is determined by what has been, and this universal
law is in mind the inductive nature of all experience. The solidarity of
all mentality and of all materiality is a scientific postulate, a
principle which we must assume, or deny all scientific investigation.
The movement of a molecule in the sun, millions of years since,
influences the condition of my body to-day, and the flush of pain in
some protozoan millions of years since, has had an infinitesimal share
in determining my present state of mind. Yet this fact that every
psychosis is what it is by reason of the whole line of previous
psychoses, does not lead us to suppose that experience cognizes itself
from the beginning, and consciously builds itself up. There is for a
long time no consciousness of process of mental integration. The whole
universe of mind is the necessary _prius_ of each individual
manifestation, yet the particular phenomenon in consciousness does not
include a sense of, or reaching out to, these conditioning agencies. No
sense of dependence is generated. But we ask, How can one conscious
state unconsciously effect or determine another? How can consciousness
be affected without consciousness of affection? Yet, difficult as it may
appear to set clearly before us the nature of this relation of a
consciousness to all the preconsciousness, it is still obvious that the
intricate _nexus_ of cause and effect in mind does not need to be known
of mind or realized in the individual consciousness, and is not, and
cannot be. Every consciousness is the derivative resultant of
innumerable pre-consciousnesses, and it goes to the determining and
qualifying of innumerable post-consciousnesses, yet it is neither
consciousness of the future or the past, though it involves both.

The early phase of mind where consciousnesses are wholly un-unified from
within by any central or continuous consciousness, and whose solidarity
is wholly in an unconscious integration is so foreign to us who have
minds where experience of experience is continually in process, that it
is with the utmost difficulty we can in any wise conceive it. It is
evident that a very low organism may have consciousnesses, but no mind,
that is, no self-unifying whole of consciousnesses. It does not possess
a mind, but during its whole life it attains psychoses which are merely
_disjecta_ reached to help an immediate necessity of existence, and then
fading completely away. Each psychosis is achieved more easily than the
former by reason of the former, though there is no consciousness of
connection with it. The increment and qualifying of a given experience
by past experience is not reached by it. Some differentiation is
attained under pressure of struggle for existence, and experience is
constituted, but is wholly unknowing of itself and in no wise

We have now, however, to consider the problem, how experience came to
itself, and how and why representation and emotion should arise in the
struggle of existence.

At the first, as we have seen, organisms responded in conscious form
only in pleasure and pain, and this only when the actual damage or
benefit to the individual was very considerable. When the hurt was
critical, then only was pain accomplished as a function to secure
self-preservative action, but gradually through survival of the fittest
the greater susceptibility was attained, so that minor lesions are felt
in pain terms, and some general sensing and objectifying lead to some
differentiation in adjustment. The external parts of the body become
specially sensitive, and ciliate extensions are formed. Injury to these
results in pain and consequent reactions, and in this wise by injury to
a small part great harm to the organism as a whole is prevented. The low
forms of life are thus enabled to avoid the hurtful before they meet it
in full annihilatory force. These practically anticipatory
reactions—though there is no real anticipation in consciousness, no real
experience of experience—I term the method of incipiency. Pain reactions
are thus reached with less and less actual harm until the very slightest
injury to a minute tentacle will suffice to awaken pain.

This tentacular experience, however, is obviously very limited, and has
incidental disadvantages. Further, that pain should be attained when
there is little actual harm, is good, but to attain pain, and
self-conservative action before any injury is done, but only about to be
done is better. Reaction to potential harm is a most important
advantageous step. In the earlier form of mentality, the animal must
actually be in the process of being devoured by an enemy before a pain
reaction is achieved, but in the later representative form of reaction
there is complete anticipation, and the animal can come off with an
absolutely whole skin. Ideal pains, as fear, anger, and other emotions,
are gradually substituted for pains which are real in the sense that
they arise in a positive hurt to the life of the organism. The saving
which is effected through emotion is most important, and this economy is
reason for the rise of emotion in the struggle of existence. Those
animals who are able, not merely to react on slight injuries to
themselves, but also through fear, etc., to avoid all actual injury,
have a very manifest advantage.

If now the _rationale_ of the rise of emotion is apparent, let us next
proceed to some analysis of emotional process in general. The mental
mechanism by which anticipatory function is secured is certainly
complex, and a complete analysis presents many difficulties.

In the incipiency stage, which we have just discussed, the organism was
enabled to avoid the full force of the injurious by meeting it half-way
with extensions from its own body, but we cannot suppose that this was
purposely accomplished, or that the lesser pain conveyed in any form
sense of the greater pain. There was no fear, no anger, not any
experience at experience in consciousness. There is simply pain on less
and less injury, but no anticipation of pain.

In early consciousness there is, of course, frequent return of a given
object which becomes the occasion of a large number of objectifyings
which are identical in nature yet do not contain sense of identity.
There is repeated reaction to the same objective stimulus, yet with no
sense of sameness, there is frequent cognition of the same thing yet no
recognition. With primitive consciousness, no matter how often a thing
is experienced, it is equally new; revival of the past is not
stimulated, nor sense of identity attained. Mere return of a state is
not sense of return, and no amount of re-occurrence or combinations
thereof will make sense of re-occurrence. Re-occurrence of a psychosis
is nothing more subjectively than occurrence unless there arise sense of
re-occurrence or revival. The pure feeling states in primitive
consciousness are perfectly identical in nature, and they arise on
occasions which are the same, yet there is of course no sense of
identity. A young child may see a thing a hundred times without
recognising it; there are a hundred re-occurrences of state yet no sense
of re-occurrence. The hundredth perception does not differ materially
from the first, does not include any true representative element. The
immediate image does not stand for the past, the mind does not revive
previous presentation on the strength of it.

Mind is regarded by many as consisting fundamentally of vivid sense
presentations and their faint reproductions, of sense impressions and
their representations. That which has been repeatedly experienced has a
tendency to re-occur without the particular objective stimulus, but
merely indirectly by some connected stimulus, through an association of
states. But this revival, however attained, does not constitute real
representation, it does not really differ from the presentation simply
because it re-occurs without the original particular objective stimulus.
Representation in true sense of term is representation with sense of
re-presentation. A representation is a repetition of a presentation with
no consciousness of repetition or any added nature. Repetition is a fact
in consciousness before it is a fact for consciousness. All
presentations and re-presentations have mere immediate validity and
value, they point to nothing, and mean nothing, there is no going beyond
what is immediately given, no prescience of a possible experience.

Revival often occurs in mind without sense of revival, and so is not
true representation. In disordered states of the nerves we frequently
see objects which have no real existence, the states are revival states
as objectively interpreted, yet there being no sense of revival they
stand in consciousness for real presentations. When I see a person
sitting in a chair but afterwards find that no one was there, I
characterize the state very naturally as a mere imagination, a
representation; yet in fact it was in subjective quality a presentation.
We are not to psychologically classify, as is too often done, psychical
states according to presence or absence of object, but as to sense of
presence or absence of object. It is only as consciousness takes note
with reference to object that there is differentiation in consciousness
to make presentation and representation.

We must consider it probable that the earliest revivals by consciousness
were solely of the unconscious sort, or, objectively speaking, were
hallucinatory. A sense order is formed, which attends to a series of
objective realities; let now, on some occasion, one of these objects
drop out, yet there will be attaining of some sense of it as though it
were present, and the proper reaction will be carried out. The mind gets
its early revivals without sense of revival. They have presentative
force, and are sensings of objective reality though there is no
objective reality there at the time to sense.

These early simple revivals, which are all hallucinatory, perform an
important function. They are practically anticipatory, in that the
reaction is secured before the actual presence of the reality. Thus they
save an actual bodily experience, though the mental is quite real, yet
fainter than actual object would give. Thus with an enemy an animal will
revive, upon slight indirect sensation, previous experiences, and it
will have in ideal form, _i.e._, without the objective reality, a very
real experience with what is to it real enemy, thus escaping before full
advent of enemy. When a shadow alarms a low organism—and even very low
organisms seem to react to shadows—there is no actual harm done to its
members as would happen with a concrete body, and hence there is no
direct pain. The shadow is yet taken for real body, and revival pains
and revival sensations are attained with this, and there is consequent
activity. Shadow does not appear as sign of enemy, but in itself a
dangerous reality, so that anticipatory reaction is gained without
actual representation. In most cases in low organisms what we take for
fear or other emotion is probably no more than revival of the type of
which this shadow experience is an example. What is actually unreal,
being only revival, is taken for the real, and is acted on accordingly,
and in most cases this action is of service as anticipatory. When the
organism discovers the shadow to be but shadow, a something, not the
object, yet connected with it, when it becomes a sign of further
experience, this is representation as the basis of emotions such as fear
and anger.

The pain intensity in the simple revivals, re-presentations, is
doubtless less than in experience with objective realities, so there is
a saving on this score in pseudo-direct experience. While reactions are
secured upon this method without injury being actually inflicted, still
there is loss of economy in this, that the activity is excessive under
the circumstances. Priority of action to real injury is secured, but at
an excessive expense of energy, almost equal to that in actual
experience with the real thing.

This acting to a false reality, while it has a value for experience, is,
as said, uneconomical, and it must sometimes not have the anticipatory
force. The cheat and illusion is ultimately at some critical moment
cognized by consciousness, revival comes to be estimated at its real
worth, and sense of reality and unreality is formed. The revived
presentation does not stand in and by itself alone, but it acquires a
significance, and it loses the force of complete reality value. That
which is brought into consciousness again is not only revival, but is
felt to be such.

To constitute representation, then, there must be not merely revival,
but sense of revival with some sense of unreality of revival form. But
this would avail nothing save it brought in sense of its value for
experience. The revival must not only be appreciated as such, but the
relation to the experienceable must be cognized. The calling up of the
past must be applied to experience. The sight of a fire not only calls
up revivals, but there is the sense of the experienceable therewith, and
an emotion which incites me to walk to the fire and receive warmth. Mere
return and sense of return must be supplemented by sense of value for
future experience. Representation is experience doubling on itself. All
representation is more than representation of thing, revival; it is
representation of experience as such, hence an experience of experience.
We must always emphasize as the essence of representation not the
revival, but the sense of the experienceable or experienced thereby

The process to representation we see exemplified in measure in awaking
from a dream. The dream itself, speaking from the objective point of
view of observing psychologist who detects no real things in interaction
with the body, is representative in nature; but, for the experiencing
consciousness, there is no sense of revival, and all is presentative
activity. Things are known as such, and not as dreamt or represented.
Awaking is a gradual pouring in of sense of revival and of sense of
objective unreality of the experience; we become conscious that the
activity is no direct consciousness, but a recalling or reproduction.
The dream image, which was so real to me while in the dream, I now hold
as representative only, as having no immediate answering form and
substance. When, as with the superstitious, the dream is felt to have
significance, to have a meaning for life in pleasure-pain terms, then
emotion becomes possible, and fear, hope and kindred feelings are

We observe that representation is then a new order of consciousness.
Representation cannot be attained by any combination of experiences,
revival or direct, but it is a unique and reflex act. It is not a
development of presentation, as an echo and re-echo of it; and the mere
fact of absence of external cause or object does not constitute a
cognition as representation. The objectifying is not self-contained, but
it conveys a meaning for experience. Representation is an experience
which includes some cognizance of or sense of experience, and it is thus
the germ of self-consciousness and consciousness of consciousness.
Experience comes to be more than a series of detached and isolated
activities with no cognitive power beyond a direct and immediate
apprehension, but by rising to some appreciation of itself it becomes
forewarned and forearmed, able to consciously appreciate and attend to
its own welfare.

We have also to emphasize this, that while representation involves a
conscious re-objectifying, it must also include some re-feeling
consciously accomplished of pain and pleasure. Revivals of pain and
pleasure are felt and are appreciated as revivals, as having their basis
not in present object, but in previous experience. It is by
understanding feeling as experienced and experienceable, it is in view
of pleasure-pain experience, that emotion arises. It is not sense of
imminence of object, but of imminence of pain and pleasure, that awakens
responsive emotion and so self-conservative action. Emotion always
implies a pleasure or a pain in ideal sense of the experienceability of
either. Representation as cognitive revival and sense thereof is
subsidiary to representation as feeling revival with sense thereof. For
instance, the representation of a tooth and of pain of toothache are
correlative representations. Mere representation of cognition has no
value in itself, is a mere idle panorama, save as it brings on
representation of pleasure-pain. Unless representation of object implies
representation of pain, there is no deterrent effect on the mind, and no
proper bodily reaction.

We may believe that the order and basis of the representative side of
mind is practically the same as indirect and simple activity, that the
actual motive forces and originating impulses are pleasures and pains.
We should suspect that the first revival attained was a pure feeling
revival, and that the first representation was of pain and pleasure, and
not of object, a consciously re-feeling rather than a consciously
re-objectifying. The immediate value of the feeling side necessitates
that all differentiation be initiated there.

Representation is only of experience of things or of pleasure-pain
experience. It is always experience of experience, hence the expression,
representation of an object, is, in strictness, inaccurate. Experience
of things, as cognitive act, is always presentation. Yet early
representation must be considered as very much adulterated by
presentative elements. It was only slowly that representation was
differentiated as a distinct power such as we find it in human
consciousness; at the first it must have resembled the confused state
that we sometimes experience between sleeping and waking when a given
image often shifts from presentation value to representation value, and
then back again.

Representation at the first is also purely concrete and particular. Bare
appreciation of the experienceable does not include idea of experience.
But representation in itself is merely a calling up and application of
definite experiences as such. Experience as general term is not known,
but only the particular facts as experiences.

The earliest emotions arise, of course, with reference to the bodily
functions which have the most direct vital significance, as nutritive,
reproductive, and motor activity. Very simple organisms seem to
apprehend that a certain object is food before actually consuming, to
have sense of the experience, and some emotive disturbance. The pleasure
of feeding and incorporating into the bodily tissue is sensational, but
any feeling previous or subsequent to this and with reference to this is
emotional. A very young child feeds, and does not know food. Gradually
it associates the visual sensation of whiteness of the milk with the
immediate taste sensation and pleasure feeling. But the sense of
whiteness at first arises only with and after the actual taste and
pleasure experiences; it only gradually notices what gives it
satisfaction or pain, thus repeating the evolution of mind, which is
from feeling to sense, and not _vice versâ_. Only slowly does it attain
power of appreciating whiteness previous to actual experience and as
_indicative of such_, that is, a power of representation. Then emotions,
as expectancy, and desire, become possible, and will can be stirred to
active appropriation of food, a fact of the greatest importance in the
struggle for existence. Once attaining the sense of the representative
value of its cognitions, the child is enabled to consciously accomplish
anticipatory actions.

An element which complicates emotion at a late stage is representation
of representation in indefinite _regressus_. In advanced human
consciousness, where mind is very reflective and introspective, this
phase is prominent. The _nuances_ of modern emotion are largely due to
this mode of complication. Montaigne remarks that what he most fears is
fear. As fear implies representation, fear of fear implies
representation of representation, which in its turn may be feared, and
so on _ad infinitum_. Spencer terms love of property a re-representative
feeling; but this psychosis does not imply representation of
representation, but merely representation of desirable realities. Desire
of possession is an emotion, but not emotion at emotion. It is not an
experience in view of representative experience, but with reference to a
direct experience, that of ownership. Since we make representation the
basis of emotion, it would be natural to make classes of emotion
representative, re-representative, etc.; but this is quite too subtle a
distinction to be fruitful or practical.

As there are stages of representation, so there are varying degrees of
strength in the sense of representativeness. A colour may be recalled to
consciousness several times as neither more nor less red, and precisely
of the same quantity, yet the sense of its representation quality may
differ greatly at each time. There are all degrees of intensity in this
sense, from dimmest feeling, when the representation hovers on the
confines of the presentation field, to the point of perfect conviction
of representative nature. When consciousness is not exactly sure whether
an object is directly seen or only recalled, is a presentation or only a
revival, sense of representation is obviously at its lowest degree of

We have also to remark that in presentation and representation the
object is not to be divorced from activity. It is a natural analogy that
cognition as subjective-objective is a picturing, the picture and the
object pictured seeming to be diverse but co-existent constituents of
consciousness. Cognition seems to consist in both the thing as realized
and the realizing act. It is an attitude of mind which is a holding on
to a something which it has in its grasp. But there is no distinction in
consciousness itself of the presented and the presenting, the
represented and the representing, of product and process, of content and
activity; there is only the presenting, the activity, which is itself
the object. Sense of colour conveys, indeed, by the common vice of
language that the colour exists for consciousness, and is perceived by
consciousness. But, subjectively and psychologically speaking, the
object is always no more than the objectifying, the thing no more than
the activity. Thus the analysis into content and activity is
fundamentally false; it assumes a world of objects which are merely at
bottom object-sensings.

Emotion is an arousing and energizing. It is perturbation, disturbance,
agitation, excitement. It is a throwing open the throttle and putting on
a full head of steam. The whole organism quivers with the sudden inflow
of force and life, is quickened to its highest pressure. In all higher
psychic life it is a driving force of the utmost importance. However,
the trend of evolution is in the direction of economy, and with the
highest forms of consciousness emotion accomplishes its work even before
arriving at agitation intensity. Feeling of the emotion type, that is,
representative, is always at first a rather intense perturbation. Fear,
for example, is with the lower minds always fright; with higher minds it
often appears as dread. I stand on the railway track when a train is
approaching, and a slight fear enables me to take the self-conservative
action of stepping from the track; but with my dog, in similar
circumstances, I judge by his hasty jump and general expression that his
fear is always more intense and more generally disturbing. Emotion being
a force which quickly tends to exhaustion, it is obvious that those
animals will, _ceteris paribus_, have the advantage which react with the
least expenditure. Thus the tendency of evolution is away from intense

In this emotion conforms to a general law. The earliest occurrences of
any given form of psychosis are with strenuousness and with exaltation
and excitement of the organism. We speak of fits of anger and gusts of
passion, but for early consciousness we might also justly speak of fits
of seeing and hearing. Common vision of external objects is for lower
consciousness as rarely attained, and requires as much of force as
beatific vision of seer and poet in the human mind. The new psychosis is
but momentary, and implies high tension and great friction, but progress
is toward continuity and ease of working. Emotion is in human life a
tolerably constant element, like perception with whose representative
side it is correlated, and within certain ranges it rises because of the
force of heredity with apparent spontaneity.

We remark that the social significance of emotion is embodied in the
word _treat_, as _treat_ kindly, badly, etc. Our _treatment_ of each
other always means activities inspired by some emotion.

We must acknowledge that representation is very complex and difficult
of analysis. For our present purpose, however, representation is a
revival with sense of revival and unreality, and yet indicative of
reality experienceable in pleasure-pain terms, and thus the occasion
of emotion as stimulus of self-conservative action. The young child
perceives no danger; its pleasures and pains are not related to
things, and have not led to the evolution of a world of objects. Pain
and pleasure lead it slowly to correlate its senses, so that the burnt
child learns to dread the fire; the emotion of fear is aroused with
cognition of the experienceable. Objectively, we must divide psychoses
into those which directly result from actual engagement of the
organism with objects, or the reverberations therefrom; subjectively,
into simple self-contained states, and into reflex states which view
experience, and so being representations involving emotion. Just how
from re-experience sense of re-experience and of its value for
experience—sense of pre-experience—arises, is something we have not
particularly inquired into, but it is something that appears a
mysterious and difficult problem. That the perception of object should
ever carry with it sense of possibility or certainty of further
experience, painful or pleasurable, is, when candidly considered, a
remarkable and singular operation. The problems of origin of
consciousness of self, of consciousness of consciousness, and of sense
of reality seem unsolved, but I believe that a thorough study of
representation would throw much light on these points; but this is not
the place to pursue this investigation. When we take up
representation—emotion life in detail, we may be able to make
suggestions on some moot points.

                              CHAPTER VII
                     _FEAR AS PRIMITIVE EMOTION_[B]

It may be considered as plausible that if the first feeling was pain,
the first emotion was also of the pain character. The first
representation of an object as painful induced that reaction of mind
which we term an emotion, and the painful emotion we call fear. That the
first emotion to appear was fear, as fright, seems likely when we
consider that the general alertness and defensiveness imperatively
required in the struggle for existence is thereby most immediately and
simply attained. The acquirement of the power to become frightened is
plainly a most important requisite for self-preservation, and thus is
indicated as a very early factor in conscious life. An animal being
devoured by another may merely suffer pain without any perception of the
object as pain-giving and to give pain; but if it attains this
perception, there may be added to the stimulus of simple pain that of
fright. The direct actual pain may be but small, and so inducing but
feeble reaction, as when some less sensitive portion is being injured;
but if there occurs a vivid representation of potential pain, fright
happens and stimulates most strenuous endeavours, and so rids the animal
both of the immediately and the prospectively painful. Thus emotion acts
as a complement to simple feeling, and also secures practically
anticipatory reaction. Animals which must receive actual injury before
experiencing pain are clearly inferior to those which experience
emotion-pain before the injury is actually received. Other things being
equal, the most easily frightened have, in the midst of many destructive
agents, the best chance of survival and of perpetuating their kind.


Footnote B:

  Originally appeared in part in _Philosophical Review_, i. pp. 241-256.


It is unnecessary to dwell at length on child life and savage life as
illustrating the primitive quality and function of fear. The earliest
experiences of the child with things are lessons of fear. The burnt
child dreads the fire, and thus is enabled to preserve himself from
threatened injury. Fear is a primary and most important motive to action
in a very wide range of the lower mental life. Those who have observed
animals and man in a state of nature are always greatly impressed with
the constant and large part which this emotion plays in their
consciousness. With the timid and weaker species, like the rabbit and
squirrel, it is likely that a majority of their cognitions prompt to
fear or are prompted by fear, and with some persecuted races of savages
the same may be said.

The necessity and value of anticipatory reaction being acknowledged in
the struggle of existence, we plainly see a primitive motive thereto in
fear, and the earliest emotional life which we can clearly interpret
likewise seems to be fear.

It is sufficiently easy to see the general function of fear and its
primitive character, but we find it very hard to make a satisfactory
analysis, and to show the exact steps of its evolution. It is obvious,
however, in the first place, that fear, like other emotions, is purely
indirect and secondary experience; it pre-supposes previous painful
experience of the feared object. Pain experienced in connection with
cognition of object is the basis of all fear. Animals that have not felt
pain from man do not fear him. But fear while thus based on previous
direct experience is always hindered by simultaneous direct experience,
as, for example, sensation. Thus when we, whip in hand, say to a child
crying from fear, “I will give you something to cry for,” we imply the
law that direct pain and sensation tend to supplant indirect feeling as
emotion. This common expression emphasizes the essential
representativeness of emotion, its imaginary nature, as also the
supplanting power of direct real experience. The sight of the whip
inspires fear in the child who has been whipped, but this fear is in the
course of a punishment wholly eliminated by the direct pain endured. The
direct experience is thus the basis of every fear, but only as it is
cognized, and not felt.

The great difficulty in analysing fear is in clearly apprehending the
mode in which previous experience is utilized. If we could study in
ourselves the genesis of a simple emotion, we should doubtless be
enabled to see the steps by which experience reacts upon itself so as to
give a reflex form like the emotion of fear, but this is hardly
possible. However, cognition is evolved at the instance of pain, and all
objects are viewed, not for themselves, but in their feeling
significance. Cognition is embedded in feeling, and at first is a mere
tone of feeling. Things are not at first known for themselves but solely
as sources of present pleasure and pain. Things are perceived in and
through the feeling which has stimulated the perception. The immediate
feeling value of the object is given by the very origin and process of
cognition. When an animal is pained by contact with a sharp rock, and
this pain stimulates cognition of the rock, this is solely on the pain
account. Repeated experiences enable the percept to arise at stimulus of
less and less pain, and so the proper reaction is accomplished more and
more economically.

We may say that the order of evolution is this: first, a pain; second, a
cognition of pain-giver—“it hurts”—third, emotion about pain-giver, as
fear thereof—“I am afraid of it.” Primitive and normal cognition always
implies emotion as impelling self-preservative action. Knowledge which
does not spring into emotion and action is abortive. At first the known
is always startling.

The original pain-impelled cognition brings in the painful emotion,
primitive fear. And as knowledge has brought in fear, so fear reacts on
knowledge, and fearfulness incites to knowing even when the pain from
object ceases. Thus before any actual experience of an object it may be
known and felt about. Thus that habit of objectivity is formed, of
alertness, of a fearful sensing and perceiving, which is noticeable in
many animals. A cognitive-emotive, emotive-cognitive life is formed and
developed. It is a tremendous stride onward to be able through fearful
cognition to wholly pre-perceive and anticipate the injurious, instead
of having to suffer it in part before being enabled to get away.

Now primitive fear and all primitive emotion plainly utilizes the past
experience as interpreting the future; emotion is about a known potency.
Yet it is often stated that emotion is but a summation of revivals of
past experience. Having often been burnt by fires that I have
coincidently been looking at, it sometimes happens that I see a fire
which has not yet harmed me, but still the mere sight affects me with
what I call the emotion of fear, which, in closest analysis, means
merely the revival of the burning pains associated with this seeing in
the past. “I am afraid” equals “I re-experience the pains of burning” by
suggestion. Pains faintly re-occurring constitute the painful fear.
There is in this mass of re-awakenings no real cognition of experience
and no feeling about it as such, no psychosis _at_ the experienceable.
And it is certainly true that when a fixed sequence of experiences tend
to recur together, there will follow upon the cognition, revival waves
of pain before any actual increase of pain is really inflicted in the
given case. These waves stand for, and are the echoes of, the former
real pain sequences of cognition. Thus the perception of a great mass of
ice will often cause a shivery feeling, a painful sensation is revived
as correlated with former cognition experiences. Even the image or
representation, the purely and consciously ideal cognition, may bring in
painful feeling, as when I say, “It makes me shiver to think of it.”
Here the painful sensation-bringing idea is cognized as such, but the
representation here is the occasion of a direct painful sensation, and
evidently does not imply fear or other emotion.

While not arising from actual injuries, revivals strengthen both
cognition and volition. They have recurred before further hurtful
experiences with the fire which originally incited them. These revival
pains of previous sequences to the cognition, which are carried along
with the present cognition, are real enough in themselves, yet they are
objectively anticipatory of actual injury. The whole order of previous
experience is by the nature of mind and nervous system re-enacted before
the actual injuries are inflicted. It is always a race between mind and
nature, but it is a prime function of mind to anticipate practically the
movements of nature. Mind by its revival forms accomplishes this, but if
it lags in its work the real injuries are mercilessly inflicted by slow
but sure nature. When the sequence of revival is quicker than the
objective sequence, the reactions anticipate objective order, and thus a
manifest economy is achieved. But pain revivals of this kind are not
fear, nor is there a real pre-perception. Since the revival forms are,
to the observer’s point of view, incentive to anticipatory reaction,
psychologists must often, especially with low organisms, mistake them
for fear; the animal is often, doubtless, merely suffering revival pains
when it appears to be fearing pain. Thus we may suspect that organisms
which seem to fear shadows or real objects are often merely suffering
revival pains brought up in conjunction with the cognition, and not
really fearing as result of perceiving feeling quality inherent in the
object. Manifestation of pain must often be mistaken for manifestations
of emotion, and there is as yet no accurate objective determination for
fear or other emotions.

Revival pains are not representations of pains as in some way coming
from object. Emotion requires representation, and cannot occur in any
presentation or re-presentation chain. True pre-perception is not merely
perceiving the thing before its effects in feeling are experienced, but
it is a _representing_ the feeling quality of the object before, in any
given case, this quality is directly experienced. This obviously rests
on past experience, but the connecting of object with pleasure-pain
experience is at all times, as before intimated, equally a problem.
Emotion and representation are built not of revivals, but upon them
perceived as such. At some critical moment, in some rather early period
in mental development, a consciousness which was pain _plus_ sense of
object, realized, under the pressure of struggle for existence, the
feeling quality of the object, and there arose with the knowledge of
object as pain-giver the painful emotion. And as soon as object is not
merely cognized, but cognized as pain-giver, it may be feared. The
moment that object was known as a pain agent, then fear of the object
came, and thus true anticipatory action arose. We are said, indeed, to
fear objects, to fear men, animals, etc., but, in truth, the fear is
never of the object as such, but only in view of its pain agency. The
cognizing the experienced and experienceable as such seems then a
peculiar and distinct process in fear and in all emotion, a _genus_
apart which cannot be constituted by interaction of simple elements. The
growth of mind is largely in multiplying and enlarging the signs of

The connecting once achieved of object with pain, it becomes
increasingly easy to cognize the feeling value of objects, and before
full and extreme pain experience therefrom to pre-react through emotion.
Thus emotion saves both direct pain and injury. As it becomes a
permanent tendency, and an impulse of consciousness to proceed from all
pure feelings to cognition of object, so also to cognition of object in
its feeling quality, and thus by inherent tendency it ultimately comes
about that there is attaching of pain to various objects cognized, even
when there is no immediate experience of pain to be connected therewith.
Finally the precedent inciting pains to cognition become such minor
factors, and knowledge arises with such apparent spontaneity, that
emotion as involving pain significance becomes dominant rather than the
immediate pain. An order of consciousness becomes established in which
the notable event is emotional cognition of experience values as
bringing in permanent emotion rather than an order of pleasure-pain
inciting cognition with evanescent emotion. But at the first it is
evident that fear was but a slight event in a consciousness which was
mainly absorbed in immediate pain experience and some sense of object.
It is so habitual and instinctive for us to perceive all things as
having feeling value, that it is most difficult to appreciate the
standpoint of a consciousness which is just attaining emotion life.

The preliminary elements to simple primitive fear, as expressed by any
such phrase as, “it hurts,” are at least four: pain, cognition of
object, cognition of the pain, cognition of the pain agency of object.
These operations, as being at first successive, do not necessarily
imply, however, sense of time. The consciousness of a pain is certainly,
at first, consciousness of pain really past, yet not consciousness of it
as past. The pain stands as immediately antecedent act to the
consciousness which is cognition of it, but sense of experience is not
thereby sense of experience in time. The sense of time-relations of
experiences is wholly subsequent to the simple sense of experience. All
experience is, of course, in time, but far from being of time.

An organism, which has suffered knowingly from an object, and so feared,
attains at length the power of fearing antecedent to any real injury.
This seems to be brought about somewhat in the following manner: If I in
any way, as by a pin pricking, rouse a sleeping animal to a cognition of
an object which has often injured it, and which it has often feared,
immediately there would re-occur the original concomitants of the
cognition in the previous cases; there would be pain, cognition of pain,
ascription to object, and fear, all merely revivals, and happening most
probably before any actual injury, etc., received in the present case.
Now these revivals, as before insisted, do not and cannot in themselves
alone form a new fear. This is only constituted when the revival pains
are known as such, when they are not merely presented in consciousness,
but represented as belonging to past experience of thing, and so to be
experienced. The thing is thereby truly _interpreted_ for its feeling
value. Not merely pain, as being experienced, is connected with thing,
but as having been experienced, and to be experienced. Thus only arises
that sense of the experienceable, that real _apprehension_ for the
future, which is so valuable an acquisition in the struggle for
existence. Feeling quality comes thus to be assigned as real and
permanent property of things, and every cognition comes to imply
representation of feeling value, and so to be a basis for emotion. But
all sense of experienceability is founded on sense of experience; the
sense of things as possibilities of sensation and feeling is based on
actual relatings of feelings to objects in simple direct experiences.

Fear is in itself pre-eminently a painful state, and we have to inquire
as to the origin and nature of this pain. The statement of the problem
in general form is, how does that which does not yet please or pain, but
is only cognized as about to do so, give immediate pleasure or pain?

We have already expressed the opinion that fear is based on more than
mere pain revivals; there must be true representation, the revival must
be appreciated as representation of past experience, and indicative of
future. The painful agitation consequent on prospect of pain seems,
indeed, to include as pain element more than revival pain, but it is
only seeming. Where does the pain come from which a person feels at the
mere prospect of pain unless from the past? The pain is, of course, not
the identical pain feared. Again, one cannot see how a cognition in
itself, entirely empty of feeling, can cause a pain, except as acting as
a link in a chain of association whereby conjoined past pains are
revived. So far as fear is pain, it is, we may be told, revival, for
representation of pain is not pain, and cannot cause pain. The pain
which arises from cognition of pain to be experienced appears in a
strict analysis to be wholly re-occurrence stimulated thereby, and not
any new and peculiar mode of pain at pain. That this is the case is
apparent from the fact that we can only have the pain of fear so far as
we have experienced pain. Poignant pains experienced are the basis of
poignant pain in fear. The knowledge that you are soon to re-experience
an intense pain leads to an intense dread, in which the intense pain is
revived from former experience. There are, to be sure, in the phenomena
of fear in highly developed consciousness, complex pains which cannot be
ascribed to revivals, reflexes upon consciousness of the great tension
and agitation thereof, pain of loss of self-possession and self-power,
and other modes which proceed from consciousness of consciousness, but
this does not bear upon the question how mere cognition of pain, as to
be experienced, can in itself give pain; how there arises from mere
apprehension a pain which is more than and distinct from the revival

But, however we may be puzzled to see how mere cognition of
experienceable pain develops a peculiar pain which is the essence of
fear, yet we must acknowledge its production to be a fact. We may say,
indeed, that the bare thought of pain even when conveyed by the printed
word—the abstract sign of an arbitrary vocal name—is not without a tinge
of a peculiar fear-pain which does not wholly consist of revivals. When
preparing to go out into the storm on a very cold day I have pain in
anticipation of the pain I am to receive from the bitterly cold wind.
Now I may have preliminary shiverings, and there may be recurrent
painful sensations as I look intently at the raging elements, pains
which return from actual experiences which I have before undergone and
at the time knowingly connected with wind and snow. But all these
revivals, while the basis of my fear, do not give the distinct pain
quality of the fear. The pain which I do experience when I actually step
into the biting blast I know at once to be entirely distinct in quality
from that which I before felt at the anticipation, the real pain, of
fear. Again, when I say, “I was deeply pained to hear of it,” and when I
say, “The noise pained me greatly,” I indicate that difference between
purely mental distress and sensuous pain, between pain at representation
and pain referred to presentation, which is to be emphasized in all our
study of emotion. With a man in the hands of hostile Indians the
tortures of fear are quite distinct in quality from the tortures
actually endured. The agony of fear is a _genus_ apart from the agony of
physical pain.

Again, if the pain in fear were derived from revivals, then the nature
of the pain in different states of fear would be as different as the
sensations feared. But as a matter of fact the pain in fear of cold,
fear of heat, of famine, of punishment, etc., is substantially of the
same quality. I may fear one more than another, but the real mental
agitation and pain which constitute the fear are in all cases
essentially the same. If the pain in fear were sensation revivals, then
fear of cold and fear of heat would be quite diverse and contrary in
quality of pain value, but we all know that the dread of a cold day and
of a hot day are in themselves essentially the same in nature. As far as
the states are pure fear and have a pain quality, the conscious activity
in both is entirely similar.

Further, if the pain in fear were wholly of revival nature, not only
should we expect fear of different sensations to be correspondingly
distinct, but we should also expect the pain in fear to never exceed in
amount and intensity the pain feared as indicated by measure of past
experience. But we know that our fears are often much more painful than
pain feared and than our experience of past pain. The pang of fear, of
sudden fright, is often more acute and intense than any direct pain we
have ever experienced. The terrible convulsions of fear which we see in
the insane give evidence of pain which could not have been reflection
from direct experience. That excessive and sudden fear which turns men’s
hair gray in a few hours and transforms their whole physical system is
plainly not any revival from the individual’s past experience. As
revealed by its effects it is often, perhaps, greater than the whole
amount of pain they have ever suffered. Where, in the direct-experience
form, pain is greater in the fear than the real pain suffered, we
express the fact by the common phrase, “more scared than hurt.” In all
such cases the pain in fear is not the revival of past experiences of
the object feared.

Fear is, in the main, the peculiar pain coming from consciousness of
experienceable pain, but in general in all complex consciousness it is
marked by dissolution and weakening of mental force. There is a
shrinking of will, and a clouding of cognition, a general unsettling of
all mental elements, a commotion or agitation which destroys the organic
_consensus_ of consciousness. But any excessive functioning of some
element in consciousness, of emotion life, as fear, or of any other
form, is unbalancing and detracts from normal activity of the whole.
Fear, however, in its normal measure and form arose and was developed as
a desirable stimulant; where it becomes paralyzing in its force, it is
pathological in quality. Also where fear is pathologically intense it
tends to disappear in sensation feared. Cognition becomes so weakened
that sense of representativeness is lost, the thing feared is no longer
brought before the mind in its potential quality, but is immediately
apprehended as present in its influence—though really objectively
absent—hallucination is produced, and fear naturally reverts to its
earliest and direct form in immediate experience. As cognition is still
further weakened the sense of object as giving pain is lost and fear in
any form entirely disappears. The pain is not felt which before was
feared to be felt. Fear thus in the general order of its disappearance
repeats the order of its appearance and growth.

Fear always includes some sense of object. The apprehension of something
evil to happen is the basis of all fear, but the thing, or, subjectively
speaking, the objectifying, may be extremely vague. We may fear that
some harm is to befall us, but what and how, we know not. We must
suppose that in early stages this bare objectifying of approaching pain
was a regular incipient form, that an indefinite fear preceded every
case of defined fear. We, as a rule, attain a full objectifying with
such ease and rapidity that this form does not often appear.

A complete fear movement, then with reference to cognition includes four
stages: first, a very general sense of object as about to give pain;
second, an increasing definition of object up to the maximum of
clearness, thus marking the highest efficiency of the fear function;
third, a decreasing definition of object till, fourth, a purely
indefinite objectifying is again reached. Every fear, if it attains a
normal life, will rise, culminate, and decline in this way. Even in man,
where the full development of single simple psychoses rarely proceed
undisturbed, there is yet observed a general tendency toward these
stages. I awaken in the night at a sudden noise with slight and vague
fear; suspicious sounds increase my fear and I listen and look more
intently till I see clearly and quite fully crouching near the bed a
dark body which I make out to be an armed burglar; as he approaches with
his pointed weapon fear will most likely become so intense that I see
less and less clearly, and a shot might terrify me into vague but very
intense fear. If the object is discerned to be not a burglar but a
chair, the fear quickly lapses. At a certain point of maximum clearness
either a weakening or an intensifying of fear weakens cognition. Too
much or too little pain is equally injurious to the knowing activity.
Low psychisms examine and clearly define only that from which they have
something to fear or hope.

The qualitative relation of the pain of fear to the pain feared varies
greatly with the evolution of mind. Fear-pain could not have originated
as a substitutionary function for the real pain except by being at the
first somewhat less in quality than the pain to be endured, otherwise
there would be no economy in the function. The progress of this function
is to secure at less and less expense of fear-pain the suitable
reaction. The function of fear being to escape a greater direct pain by
a less indirect one, the progress of the function is in diminishing the
amount of fear-pain for required effectiveness. The small original gain
in the ratio is increased by small increments till in the highest minds
proportion of fear-pain to pain feared might be represented by
1⁄∞. The pain in the usual fear which commonly induces me to step from
the track before an approaching train, or which enables me after
reading some advice on the subject to take precautions against the
cholera, is evidently in infinitesimal relation to the pain feared.
When fear is unsuccessful, as in anticipating a visit to the dentist,
we, of course, suffer a double pain, both the fear-pain and the
pain feared.

Often we must observe that the pain of fear is equal to or greater than
the experience feared, and we have to ask how this disadvantageous
excess could have been evolved. Often the pain of anticipation turns out
to be far greater than the pain anticipated. However, a little
reflection assures us that the excess of fear in many cases is only in
appearance. We do not fear too much upon the judgment we have formed as
to the coming pain, but we have by error of judgment assigned too much
value to the pain. When a person being initiated into a secret society
trembles with fear at being told to jump from a precipice, when he
really is to jump but a few feet downward, his fear was perfectly just
according to his judgment. If his belief is perfectly assured, the
mortal fear will make him offer the most strenuous resistance and most
likely secure his release from the ordeal. In all such cases the feeling
is right enough, but the estimate of future experience is inaccurate.
When an animal is terrified at its own shadow the fear is justly
proportioned to the estimate of danger, which, however, happens to be
erroneous. In the evolution of mind in the struggle for existence, more
and more accurate calculations of possible injury are attained, and fear
becomes more and more rational. Educated men fear only what is worthy of
fear; they fear many things that lower minds do not, and do not fear
many things they do. The true excess of fear is where we fear against
judgment, as when, knowing the safety of travel by rail, I am yet
constantly in fear while aboard a railway train. When I still continue
to fear, though I know the fear to be groundless, this is a true
hypertrophy of fear. We constantly observe those who are fearful and
timid against their own reason. When dangers known are compared with
dangers obscure or unknown—and perceived to be unknowable—the fear of
the unknown often prevails against the fear of the known, and we prefer
with Hamlet to fear the ills we have than fly to others we know not of.

I must in conclusion express my conviction that while the physiological
and objective study of fear and other emotions is of very considerable
value, yet it is only introspective analysis which can reveal the true
nature and genesis of fear and all emotion. What fear is and what is the
process of its development can only be determined by the direct study of
consciousness as a life factor in the struggle for existence. This I
attempt in the present chapter, with the main result that fear, as
indeed every emotion, does not consist of pain or cognition-revivals in
any form, but is a feeling reaction from the representation of the
feeling potency of the object.

                              CHAPTER VIII
                     _THE DIFFERENTIATION OF FEAR_

Fear, according to the analysis we have made, includes representation of
object in its feeling value, predominant tone of mental pain, and will
recoil. Fear in its primitive form, as we have seen, was a sudden and
transitory phenomenon in consciousness, a simple thrill of feeling
awaking will to spasmodic violent effort in the struggle for existence.
All states of fear in early psychical history were practically alike in
quantity, quality and intensity. Every fear is like every other fear in
its pain tone and will effort. Every object and event considered as
painful is equally feared; there is no distinction of more or less fear,
nor any qualitative differentiation. Very young children manifest equal
fear disturbance and seemingly identical in nature on all fearful
occasions. Prospect of vaccination, of a scratch, of the pulling of a
tooth, of a whipping, of an amputation, produce equally paroxysms of
fear, waves of painful emotion, which discharge themselves in muscular
contortions. The lowest animals likewise appear in all cases frightened
to the same degree and in the same way. It must be said, however, that
this period of simple undifferentiated fear is undoubtedly very brief,
and embraces in the individual and the race but a comparatively small
number of phenomena; but a careful study, even by the method of
approximation will, I believe, show it to be a definite initial phase.

While this primitive undifferentiated fear, which acts with the same
force and quality in all instances, confers upon the organism which
possesses it a great superiority over those which do not possess it, in
the race for life, and thus marks a great advance in psychical progress,
yet it is manifestly uneconomical in its action in that there should be
precisely the same amount and quality of reaction in all cases. So when
a considerable number of organisms had attained the power to fear,
competition would inevitably lead to some differentiation, and this
doubtless first in the direction of greater economy. The animal which
could fear much or little, according to the degree of actual injury
threatened, would have a great advantage in the struggle for existence
over his fellows. The amount of pain in prospect is definitely gauged,
and the fear pain becomes proportioned thereto, and so the will effort
and muscular exertions. Fear in its earliest form sets the whole motor
apparatus going at the highest rate, the whole organism is at the
highest pitch of activity, and life and death struggle happens at every
apprehension of pain, no matter how small the reality. Later, through
discrimination, animals become capable of either a slight scare or a
great fear, according to circumstances. The fear force is gradually
rationalized and made less spasmodic and so more adaptive. The fear pain
becomes proportioned to the real amount of pain and so to injury
actually imminent.

This mode of evolution by decrease rather than increase of intensity
may seem peculiar. Fear, however, certainly originates as a simple
outburst of considerable strength relative to the individual organism,
and the first step in fear growth is a development in the
representation-of-object element in fear which tends to reduce the
essence of fear as pain-emotion. Spasmodic primitive fear in becoming
intelligent loses intensity in the essential feeling aspect. Other
things being equal, the intensity of fear is inversely as the
definition of its object. The dimly and uncertainly known is always
thereby more fearful than the well known and familiar. However, as
regards primitive psychism, we must remark that all phenomena are very
large in relative quantity to individual capacity, but very small in
absolute psychological quantity. A fear which convulses a very small
mind would make but a very small disturbance in a mind of very great
capacity. An amount of fear which would absorb completely one
consciousness capacity, would require comparatively little force in a
mind of greater calibre. The lowest minds are possessed by their
fears, higher minds possess them, do not “lose their heads,” _i.e._,
both cognition and will co-exist as stable controlling elements.
Primitive consciousness is constantly at saturation point, phenomena
occur only in linear consecutive order, and every phenomenon is a
feeling-willing which absorbs the low conscious capacity. It may then,
perhaps, be regarded that the evolution of fear is not through
absolute decrease in intensity, but an increase of conscious capacity,
whereby greater definition of object becomes possible and coincident
with fear-pain of original quantity. The complete determination of
this question must then await a fuller analysis, but the relation to
individual capacity in the evolution of fear remains apparent.
Whatever may be the absolute quantity and intensity of the fear
phenomenon, its relative quantity and intensity changes very greatly.

The number of adaptive degrees of fear which are ultimately evolved and
of which any very high mind is susceptible, is quite beyond our present
means of psychological analysis. We have no phobometer to register all
the gradations, other than the popular usage of language, but between “I
was scared just the least bit,” and “I was scared stiff,” or “scared to
death,” there is certainly a vast number of intermediaries. Terror is an
intensive term denoting strong fear, and a terrible fright is a
redundancy for extreme fear. By the use of adjectives and various
qualifying phases we roughly denote a number of fear degrees, but
scientific precision is wholly lacking. Such expressions as “I have very
little fear of him,” “I fear him a little,” “I fear him greatly,” “I
fear him very much,” convey a meaning indeed, but no exact measurement
is indicated.

Terror is often used as a term not merely for fear in general, but for
fear which paralyzes by its force. The individual is often “rooted to
the spot” by terror, he loses all power of motion and becomes as an
inert mass. With animals even of the lower grades this is doubtless
often a pathological manifestation. We find that predatory animals are
often furnished with apparatus to inspire benumbing fear in their
victims. Various means, as inflation of size, strident noises, etc., are
employed with great effect. On the other hand, we find that predacious
animals seek to reduce the stimulus of fear in their victims by quieting
and alluring methods. Both hypertrophy and atrophy of fear are
disadvantageous, and we should see then in paralyzing terror an instance
of over-development of useful function which produces the direct
opposite of the normal fear. Fear, the great means of salvation to all
weaker organisms, is also in its highest intensities taken advantage of
by enemies. Hence the due graduation and restraint of fear becomes one
of the most important lines of mental evolution for the organism preyed
upon, but the over stimulation or undue weakening of the fear function
in its prey becomes a most important object and advantage for the
predacious animal. This evolution is often by the individual
disadvantageous variation when this is advantage to some other organism;
and, as living beings are soon divided into the two classes, those who
flee and those who pursue, the destroying and preserving of the chief
psychological defence becomes a leading form of psychic growth of a
pathologic character. Fear in its origin was certainly a stimulant to
action and not sedative. However, so far as fear effects an unconscious
mimicry of death it often reaches thereby negatively to conservative
action, and paralyzing fear is thus explained by the general law of
advantage in the struggle for existence. We can then trace a double
evolution of fear, on the one hand as leading to action, on the other to
inaction, but the former will, I think, be found to be the primitive
form. The primary and main function of fear in all life is in a duly
modulated energizing in view of approaching injury, and the depressing
mode is secondary and exceptional.

Again, we must remark upon the sense of personal weakness, or,
objectively stated, the sense of overwhelming power, as entering into
fear. I cannot agree with Mr. Mercier that this is a mark of all fear.
In its origin and early gradations fear, as we have noticed it in the
immediately preceding paragraphs, requires no other cognition than that
of pain to come. Self-measurement of power in relation to that of pain
giving object is certainly too complex to be primitive, nor do the
simplest forms of fear as we observe them in ourselves and judge of them
in lower organisms pre-suppose any such process. Primitively every
perception of painful event fills consciousness with the impetuous
self-conserving fear revulsion. There is neither time nor capacity for
estimating one’s own strength or weakness in relation to opposing power.
By the very low intelligence only the immediately imminent is
apprehended, and action is always immediate, short, and decisive. In
fact, it is now probable that originally painful events are really
actualized by the mind, and the fear is thus at the event as actual,
rather than as ideal, as represented as to be. Certain it is that mind,
in its hurry to get ahead of natural harmful agencies in their action,
must in its earliest pre-apprehensions have no room or time for dynamic

Of course the whole value of sense of one’s own superior power is in
fear, thereby securing the contingency of the painful event, but sense
of contingency upon one’s own efforts no doubt first occurs at a
considerably advanced stage, much beyond that of simple fear.
Primitively mind regards events as being, or about to be, with no sense
either of their certainty or uncertainty. Early mind cannot appreciate
certainty, for it knows not uncertainty, it has not yet accomplished the
prevision to which certainty and uncertainty may attach; it cannot say,
“I fear this will happen,” or “I fear that will not happen,” but only “I
fear or do not fear the thing happening, the event coming.” The world of
the earliest psychical life is simply factual, and the fears are simple
and wholly undifferentiated. Fear certainly antedates the perception of
contingency and of one’s own agency in producing contingency. Even in
the ordinary fears in human consciousness sense of personal power in
relation to pain-giver is actually subsequent to the fear phenomenon and
reacts upon it, but is not constitutive of it in its first impulse.

Fear is first graduated by the increasing discrimination as to the
amount of pain and injury to be inflicted, and later it is graduated by
the sense of the painful event as more or less contingent, either in the
natural course of things, or as determined by the individual’s strength
in warding off impending evil. Taking chances and risks is learned, and
becomes often very advantageous. Fear is also greatly diminished and
modified by acquiring a sense of one’s individual power in overcoming or
resisting pain given. The rabbit, often chased by a clumsy dog,
evidently fears him less and less. Man, both by his increasing knowledge
of natural contingencies and by his increasing power over elemental and
animal pain-giving forces, fears less and less. The inevitable evil,
sure to come, and sure to overcome, is that which strikes intensest
fear, as we often see in criminals led to execution.

The discrimination between the animate and the inanimate also
differentiates fear. When this distinction is fully achieved, the
attitude of mind toward each in fear is plainly distinct. The thing,
perceived as having psychic powers, and capable of purposive evil and
self-directive of its movements, awakens thereby a complex of feelings
which rapidly develops beyond our present powers of analysis to follow
them. For the present sketch of the early natural history of fear it is
sufficient merely to remark this differentiation as one of prime value
in the struggle for existence.

However, as we have before suggested (p. 106), the nature of fear,
purely in itself considered, does not depend on the nature of the object
feared; thus fear of cold and fear of heat are perfectly alike as
psychic facts, though having regard to very diverse physical facts.
Animistic mind, indeed, reacts to all objects differently from
naturalistic mind, yet in its essential quality fear is identical in
both. In fear of a storm, both as a purely physical manifestation and as
the expression of the psychical nature of a deity, the fear act is by
itself quite the same; the fear pain and the willing are quite the same,
but on the more external, the representation side, they do greatly
differ, the complication being greater in the latter instance, and
introducing a complex of feelings. Fear in the narrowest sense does not
reach to the object to consider its nature, to regard its objective
quality, for this is the base of very different feelings; but fear
proper is engrossed in object purely for its immediate pain
significance; it is given up to viewing personal pain infliction. I am
inclined to think, then, that we shall find that mind is primarily
neither animistic nor naturalistic. The only interpretation of object
which is first made is as pain or pleasure given, and a personalizing
and impersonalizing stage is decidedly later. We must remember that mind
at first goes only so far as it is positively obliged to by the struggle
for existence; and hence, though it is quite impossible for us to fully
realize such a simple state, yet originally objects were discriminated
merely as pleasure and pain sources. Object at first was of the more
vague sort, merely an indefinite _locus_ for pleasure-pain; something
painful or pleasurable is the discrimination, but attribution of
sentiency or insentiency is not yet reached, for no interpretation of
the sort is yet imperatively demanded. It is so ingrained in us to
perceive beings as either living or non-living, that it is quite
impossible to thoroughly conceive a state so primitive as to be unable
to rise to this attribution or distinction. However, like the bare
statement of a fourth dimension in space, the statement that
pre-animistic mind exists or has existed, a way of looking at objects
entirely without reference to their personal or impersonal quality—this
is intelligible, and hypothetically required by a complete theory of the
evolution of mind. In a _dolce far niente_ of perfect sensuousness, even
the adult man sometimes approximates this stage, and the actions of very
young infants are best interpreted as expressions of a similar state.
Things for them seem entirely uninterpreted and unperceived, except as
imparters of crass sensual pains and pleasures, as mere pleasure-pain

A very important differentiation of fear is brought about by the
extension of the time sense. Fear begins with a _minimum_ of time sense;
only the immediately impending, the absolutely imminent danger, suffices
to awaken fear. But in the struggle for existence the advantage of being
influenced for action by the more and more remote, in time, determines a
rapid extension in time to feared events. With man actions are thus
influenced by fears, which reach even beyond the present life. The
cautious and prudent are those whose fears are far-sighted, and who,
conducting themselves accordingly, maintain supremacy over the
short-sighted and improvident. _Carpe diem_ is, from the point of view
of evolutionary psychology, the cry of the retrogressive fool.

The time differentiation of fear is recognised in popular language in
the term—dread. I am frightened in the night by a sudden noise; I am
alarmed for the safety of a child awaking near a precipice; but I dread
next week’s task. Of course dread, like other popular psychological
terms, is plastic, and often denotes fear in general, and is often used
intensively, or to denote vague fear, still it is the most correct and
distinctive term for fear of a more or less remote event. It would be
most interesting to investigate the relation of distance in time of
feared event to intensity of the fear, but we have as yet no standards
for estimating in mathematical ratios either time or intensity
psychologically considered. It is not, of course, physical determination
of time as minutes, hours, etc., with which we are concerned, but only
with variations in sense of nearness or remoteness of event. Our sense
of time is most variable, and fluctuates from many causes, so that hours
sometimes seem minutes, and minutes at other times seem hours. However,
there is, doubtless, other things being equal, some fixed relation
between our sense of the nearness and remoteness of a fearful event and
the intensity of the fear, but we may well doubt whether it can ever be
reduced to any law of inverse squares like that of physical intensities.
A criminal sentenced to die at the expiration of thirty days certainly
has a marked increase in fear as time approaches, or rather, as he has
sense of the time approaching, but a quantitative analysis is beyond our
present powers.

A most important but tolerably late differentiation is the altruistic
form of fear—fear, not of others, but for others. Psychic life is at
first wholly self-centred, there is no perception of things or interest
in them otherwise than as bearing on the experience of the self. Other
selves are wholly unrecognised, and pain-giving effects to them are then
unperceivable. In very young infants we see a close approximation to
primitive selfish life. The exact point in the history of life when
altruism is developed by the struggle of existence is not at present
determinable, but we may well believe that it arose with the evolution
of the sexes in separate individuals. Fear for mate and offspring is
obviously an essential advantage in the progress and perpetuation of the
kind. Pure altruism is not at first attained, and there is only the
faintest gleam of appreciation of pain-states in others, and genuine
feeling therefor. The sexual appetite is, like other appetites, purely
selfish at first, and the animal fears the loss of what will satisfy in
an individualistic way, quite as he fears that food may be taken away or
destroyed. Even in higher psychisms much that we readily interpret as
altruistic is often mainly personal; it is not a true regard and emotion
at pain and injury imminent to others, a manifestation of feeling at
their experience as such, but mostly a feeling for their experience only
so far as it involves our pleasure-pain. When sociality and
interdependence of organisms is attained as a great advantage in the
struggle of life, when personal experience is perceived as dependent
upon experiences of others, then a feeling value attaches to the
experienceable for others, yet selfishly at first. Even parental
oversight and care must originally have been selfish—the satisfaction of
a personal craving, rather than the promotion of the well-being of
another, considered for its own sake. Real and pure altruism must,
indeed, be accounted, even in human society, as a rare phenomenon,
perfect self-forgetfulness being almost impossible even for the most
developed consciousness, owing to the strength and persistence of an
indefinite heredity of selfishness. Fear for others is, then, in truth,
merely an indirect fear for ourselves; and particularly so is this true
in all lower consciousness. But we must acknowledge that elements of
real altruism do enter and do grow in value and strength in the
evolution of consciousness, and we must, if we adhere strictly to the
principle of personal advantage as determining evolution, find a reason
here for a singular and seemingly incompatible manifestation. Regard for
the good of others is not always indirectly regard for personal good,
and self-sacrifice is certainly an element in psychic life, even in
lower consciousness, where we often seem to see a distinct struggle
between egoistic fear and altruistic fear, as in animals protecting
their young. But we see the same in an animal defending food from being
acquired by its enemies.

Advantage for the race is certainly gained, but this wholly
unconsciously; and it plays no part in the actual psychism of the
individual. In a highly social, which is also in the most effective and
advantageous mode of life, it is certain that the purely self-seeking
will be at a disadvantage in general, whereas those who give themselves
up to help others are by others so helped, that the final _status_ of
the individual is higher and better than if he had been wholly a
self-seeker. However, he who, perceiving this law, sets out to be
altruistic for his own ends, invariably suffers defeat in the long run,
for entire disinterestedness can alone avail. But the problem of
altruism, from an evolutionary point of view, cannot here be further
remarked on; a fuller discussion would lead us too far afield. However,
we are convinced that altruism springs up and grows like the other
elements of psychic life, as functional in the largest way to the
demands of life in the struggle for existence.

Horror is a distinctive term for altruistic fear. When on a train, I am
_terrified_ if I perceive a collision imminent and inevitable, but as a
mere spectator walking near the tracks, I am _horrified_ by the prospect
of a collision. One may be “in mortal terror,” but not in mortal horror.

Our sense of the feelings of others towards us, whether they be egoistic
or altruistic, determines a large class of reflex emotions which are
often very subtle. If we perceive that some one is fearing us or fearing
for us there is immediate reaction on our part. Feeling response to
feeling acts and reacts in a multitude of complex ways, as we cannot but
observe when in the company of very “sensitive” people. The “sensitive”
one is he whose emotional life is governed by his perception of the
feelings of others toward himself, and he becomes wonderfully responsive
to the least expressions of emotion toward himself. The delicate
responsiveness of women, their intuitions, are merely quick
perceptiveness of emotion expression. The fears of such are largely
concerned with this dependence on the emotional attitudes of others
toward themselves; they fear to incur displeasure, they fear loss of
love, etc. Thus psychical phenomena become more and more determined by
psychical phenomena as interpreted and considered with reference to the
self. Panic is contagious fear, and has originated and been developed as
securing mutual safety in societies of animals. However, there is less
real fear on occasions of panic than is often supposed, for much of the
expression which we read as fear inspired is really merely imitative,
and does not signify any real basis of emotion. Moreover, we must note
that there is no direct contagion, but the perception of fear in others
merely leads us to dimly body forth some fearful events as impending,
which representation involves the full phenomenon of fear. There is also
a discrimination as to those who shall impart fear; the fear of a child
on shipboard will not start a panic, while the fear of a captain would.
Convinced that there is something worth fearing, we fear, and make
frantic efforts to escape.

We have before mentioned (p. 89) the peculiar fear of fear. The latest
and culminating differentiation of fear is awe, and the highest, most
refined development of awe is in the feeling for the sublime. The sense
of magnitude and mighty potency of injurious agents or agencies in
themselves considered, and not as immediately affecting the individual
or any individual, is the essential element in awe as a species of fear.
This fear is then neither egoistic nor altruistic, but impersonal. We
fear neither for ourselves nor others in standing awestruck at the foot
of Niagara, but a sense of overwhelming greatness and might stirs a
thrill of emotion which is at bottom a sublimation of fear. The view
which to a peasant or an animal would give terror, or produce no
emotional effect whatever, with very rational and sensitive minds
produces awe. Awe does not, as early emotions and fear generally, lead
directly to will, it is not a stimulant to action, and thus has not been
evolved by the principle of usefulness for action which governs the
general course of physiological and psychical evolution. It is evident
that with awe and the sense of the sublime emotion has a value and end
in itself. In the higher evolution of man we see that the psychic
elements evolve no longer in a strict dependency for their value in
securing advantage and success in the struggle for existence, but
comfortable existence being practically assured, psychic development is
pushed on in lines ethical, emotional and intellectual, for no practical
end, but for their own intrinsic value. Thus the feeling for the sublime
is a purely independent development, which, indeed, is based upon man’s
capacity to fear egoistically and altruistically, but is really
exercised solely for its own sake. A consciousness which has had no
common fear stage, could never arrive at awe. We stand in awe of persons
who are totally beyond us in their superiority, who exist in a sphere of
power and glory, which transcends even our understanding, and thus awe
has a religious as well as æsthetic side.

The chief differentiations then of fear we note as intensive dread, as
altruistic horror, as impersonal awe. The chronological order of
evolution may be denoted in this order—fright, alarm, terror, dread,

                               CHAPTER IX
                              _ON DESPAIR_

Despair is a phase of painful emotion which is certainly related to
fear, yet is very distant from it. Despair has always a fear basis; we
can only despair where fear is implied, and what does not excite fear
will give no hold for despair. I must first fear a pain before I can
despair of escaping it. The prisoner condemned to death must fear death
before he will be in despair at the prospect of it. Yet while despair
always implies fear, fear may often exist and that in very strong form
without despair. The prisoner often displays great fear, but no despair.

There is, in fact, a strong contrast between fear and despair. Fear
normally stimulates effort, despair depresses it. Fear is active,
despair passive. Deep dejection and lassitude mark despair, while fear
is intense agitation and activity. Fear in its original and normal
function is stimulant of defensive action, fear as paralytic being
secondary or abnormal, but in normal despair there is absolute
inertness. Fear, again, in contrast with despair, is direct and
transitive. I fear the pain or injury, but my despair is only in
relation to it, despair _of_, _in_ despair, etc. Fear is at the evil
itself, it is a direct attitude of mind toward it, through an ideal
pre-experiencing, the very representation of any pain as experienceable
carrying with it a thrill of fear. But despair concerns itself, not with
the pain _per se_ as experienceable, but with the inevitability of the
painful. Fear rests upon idea of pain, despair, upon idea of its
inevitability. “I despair of escape,” means a recoil of painful emotion
at inevitability of painful experience. Sense of complete and permanent
inability to attain an end, whether release from pain, or positively, a
securing a pleasure, generates commonly this distressful emotion.
Despair is not then simple pain at pain, but at the unavertibility of
the pain. Despair is then the mind bent down and crushed by the sense of
the inevitable and irremediable nature of the pain, positive or
negative, it experiences or is to experience. Despair is, indeed,
hopelessness, though all hopelessness is not despair. There is no hope
in stolidity or in stoicism, psychic modes quite distinct from despair,
but which take the place with some natures.

Again, we must note that while fear has its degrees, and may be but
partial, despair is always complete collapse. I may fear a little but
not despair a little, I may be frightened “just the least bit,” but not
despair a little bit. The hostess who is “in despair” because the ice
cream has not come, speaks truly, however, for the affair is for her so
important and momentous as to be the basis of real despair. That which
is the occasion of despair must always be or seem of capital value.

An adjacent and often precedent state to despair is desperation, which
is a feeling of the almost inevitable. In the face of heavy odds there
is often awakened a painful emotion which we term desperation, and which
leads to strong and furious will action, to an intense and general
struggle which is often advantageous. An enemy fears to drive his
adversary to desperation. In desperation we take one chance in a
thousand or in a million; for example, the leader of a forlorn hope. It
would be difficult to say whether despair or desperation contains more
of pain, but they are obviously quite opposite in their character. To
combative temperaments and with pugnacious animals the sense of the
seeming inevitable is often stimulative of desperation rather than
despair. Such are “game” to the last. A criminal of this type will run
amuck rather than submit to his fate in despair. The desperado is
defiant to the end. With some whose natures are balanced between
reflection and action there are in the face of the inevitable or almost
inevitable rapid fluctuations of despair and desperation.

Dismay is another form closely akin to despair. Dismay is the immediate
result for feeling of a sudden cognition of great difficulties and pains
as imminent. As the transition stage of rapid movement in feeling toward
despair, as the sudden falling in temperature from hope, it is really
incipient despair. Dismay is essentially temporary, and settles quickly
into despair or rises into renewed hope. Though but such a passing mode,
it yet has for the moment that sense of self-efficiency annihilated
which is so characteristic of despair. Consternation is very intense

But what now is the real quality and inner nature of despair? what
essentially is this strange drooping before inevitable loss, injury and
pain? and what is its significance for life? Despair is certainly a very
advanced and complex emotion, and we can do no more at present than
merely remark on some of its most striking features.

A most noticeable and remarkable quality of despair is its introactive
tendency. When the whole strength and vital motive, of a full-grown
teleologic psychic life—the _dilettante_ is not capable of despair—is
suddenly and completely withdrawn, there results, not indifference nor
_ennui_ but a deep disturbance which is active on the _minus_ side of
mental life. The complete breaking up of great and absorbing hopes and
of the free objective activity flowing from them brings will tension
down, not simply to _nil_, but gives it a spring back into the negative
region beyond the line of mere quiescence and indifferentism. Despair is
a revulsive process by which the whole mind is broken up, just as a
propeller wheel running at high speed out of water or an engine working
at high pressure when disconnected from its shafting, tend to wrench and
shatter themselves. Desire is not really extinct, but latent; though
smothered it burns inward. This is that peculiar cankering, corroding
quality, which is always so marked in despair. Will, not self-shattered,
but forcibly pent by external circumstances, gives a sullen restlessness
to the mental life now turned in upon itself. Hence the capacity for
despair will be directly as the co-ordinate capacity for action and
reflection in any individual, and as such co-ordination marks the
highest level of conscious life, despair is certainly a phenomenon of
exceptionally complex and advanced consciousness.

Again, we note that despair is intensely and oppressively a pain state,
but the dull despair pain is distinct from racking fear pain. What now
is the nature of despair pain, and what the reason for its peculiar
quality? Here is not as in fear a feeling pain at pain, but at the idea
of its inevitability and completely destructive power. The actual pain
foreseen may seem bearable and excite little feeling, but it is the
total loss of personal success, the complete thwarting of
self-realization, that moves the mind to despair, that causes that
sickening, dull, emotional pain which we term despair. Thus despair is
eminently a disease of self-hood, an egoistic distemper, the strong and
large individuality being peculiarly subject to it. However, the general
problem of despair pain is practically the same as of the origin and
nature of fear pain, which has already been discussed. Whether any mere
representation induces pain, and how it does so, is certainly one of the
most difficult problems of emotional psychology. We have in a previous
chapter sought to indicate in a general way that purely subjective or
mental pain which is not in any wise revival of sensation or objective
does really exist. Also since pain _per se_ is always simple and
identical, the differentiation of pains as seemingly quite different in
kind, as fear pain, despair pain, etc., is really due to sensation,
will, and other elements which closely adhere to pain and give it a
certain local colouring. The whole emotion is a complex of various
factors which are closely knit into a single state which to common
observation seems simple, but which is really constituted in its
_ensemble_ by the total specific forces of many elements. In psychics,
as in physics, we know that common sense analysis of phenomena must be
at fault, and that one who says “I certainly have an entirely different
pain when I fear and when I despair,” is as much in the wrong as he who
maintains essential diversities in material substance, or radical
distinctions of species in the organic world. So we must believe that
the peculiar quality of the pain in despair exists, not in the pain
itself, but is really the colouring result from various coincident
sensations and ideas. The lowering of the mental tone far below the zero
point is greatly accentuated by refluent waves of organic sensation set
up from the physical basis of the psychic disturbance.

How, we may now ask, did despair ever evolve and become a well-defined
psychic form? in what way in the course of natural selection could such
an apparently disadvantageous variation have arisen and been developed?
The serviceability of fear is plain to every one, but of what possible
value could despair be in the struggle of life? The one who gives up in
despair is but very rarely doing the best thing. If we cannot look to
the general principle of evolution, serviceability, how can we account
for the appearance and growth of such a phase as despair, except as
abnormal variation, a disease, profitable to the enemies of the
individual, and so developed by and for external organisms. As there is
an abnormal pathological variation of fear, which we have previously
noticed, and which is forced in its development by enemies who profit by
it, so despair is a psychic disease, entirely hurtful to the individual,
and, so far, only advantageous for its enemies. Despair is, without
doubt, one of those altruistic variations which serve, not the
individual, but some antagonist in the struggle of existence. To bring
one to despair is to make him entirely helpless and wholly at our mercy
for our own ends. The possibility that active-reflective natures may
prey upon themselves is thus stimulated into an actual phenomenon whose
growth is continually fostered by those whose advantage it is to reduce
the individual to a helpless condition. Despair is hardly an hypertrophy
or atrophy of any normal tendency, it is rather a pathological _genus_
by itself. The capacity for despair being inherent in the general
formation of mind as subject to collapse, it arose solely in response to
the needs of organisms warring upon the organism afflicted. The whole
field of physical and psychical altruistic variation under the general
law of natural selection, decadent and self-injurious characteristics
being stimulated and maintained in a kind of artificial selection, is an
interesting but unexplored field, attention so far having been turned to
the individually advantageous as determining element in evolution.

Despair is a disease of advanced and mature psychic life. Children are,
in general, incapable of despair. It implies a well-developed sense of
self and a general experience of the world. High and strong emotional
natures, but rather weak-willed and narrow of intelligence, are
predisposed to it. Occasions which would lead to despair will with lower
natures be unnoticed or lead merely to stolidity; while with the highest
natures, there comes heroic endeavour and wide searching for means and

                               CHAPTER X

In studying any state of consciousness we first inquire what constitutes
its dominant factor; if this is sense of object, we call it a cognition;
if effortful action, it is a volition; if the marked feature is
pleasure-pain, we term it a feeling. Finding that the consciousness is a
feeling, we would next inquire whether the pleasure-pain is mainly
determined in its colouring by direct presentation, and so is a
sensation, or whether this dominant colouring comes indirectly through
representation, and is thus what we term an emotion. For example, the
distinction between “I feel a pain in my shoulder,” and “I feel pained
at your conduct” illustrates the most radical division of feeling. If
emotion is founded on an appreciation of the experienceable, which has
developed under natural selection, we must look upon the emotional power
in general and upon the various emotions in particular as merely
advantageous psychoses which are as clearly determined by general
evolutionary laws as the merely physical organs like heart, lungs,
wings, horns, etc. It is clearly desirable that the organism should look
before, should anticipate experience and so direct its way; but bare
anticipation has no value in itself unless it powerfully stimulates will
through emotion. All conscious life above the most primitive is
eminently and increasingly anticipatory, and so becomes more and more
infused with emotional powers. Among the earliest developed of these in
the struggle for existence are fear and anger. The fear group, embracing
large numbers of allied forms, simple and complex, has been discussed in
a general way in the preceding pages, and we now come to some
consideration of the correlative anger group.

The _rationale_ of the evolution of anger is not far to seek. We have
seen that fear is the spring of defensive action, and it is obvious that
anger is the stimulant to offensive action. Fear is regressive, anger
aggressive. Fear is contractile, anger expansive. Fear is the emotion of
the pursued, of the prey; anger the emotion of the pursuer, of the
predacious. Emotion in the service of life evidently has two great
psychic ramifications from this point, and the whole world of
emotion-beings, which compose the greater mass of organisms, is hence
divided in two great divisions, a fear class and an anger class.
Likewise in relation to opposing natural forces as to neighbouring
competing and destroying organisms, the same distinction is to be made
according as the animal either combats or flees. Shyness or fierceness,
timidity or irascibility, these are characters which divide the animate
world into two grand antagonistic groups. Zoology has recognised this
psychic differentiation as a marked and essential feature in its
nomenclature, thus _lepus timidus_. In fact, the most important part of
evolution is the psychical; in this, indeed, lies the whole significance
and value of the organism. The attainment of more and more advantageous
psychic qualities is the main trend of evolution, for psychic power as
distinct from main force, like that of the elements, is far and away of
the most value in the struggle for existence, and ultimately, as in man,
it achieves the subduing all lower powers, natural, vegetable and brute,
to its own ends. It is psychical quality, moreover, which determines
physical, and not _vice versâ_. Thus it is not the possession of claws,
fangs, etc., that makes an animal fierce, but it is fierceness which
develops and maintains these weapons of offence. Thus it is, though thus
far practically overlooked by scientists, that psychic development,
especially on the emotional side, is of the utmost importance as the
prime factor and motive in organic processes. The central core of life
is emotional capacity, and this in its evolution determines the whole
external morphological trend of evolution of organisms which is so
closely followed by the science of to-day. But the science of the future
is comparative psychology, which, when once placed on a secure basis of
interpretation, will determine the real and inner law of evolution as a
psychic movement incarnating itself in a succession of animate forms.
But a sure method of knowing a psychic fact as such when it occurs, and
what, how, and why it is, is yet to be discovered and applied, and
extra-human and even extra-ego consciousness is a field, so far, for
little else than hypothesis. If this remark be turned against us, we say
that our work is mainly a deductive interpretation of the course of
psychic evolution from the general standpoint of natural selection,
reinforced and illustrated by introspective investigation, and merely
using the most obvious facts of comparative psychology in a very general
and provisional way. We do not profess to show where, how, and when mind
originated, or what particular powers any certain organisms possess, but
we do endeavour to show how the principle of utility may be made a key
to the study of a very perplexing region of mental life—the emotions. We
proffer then merely a very general sketch of the history of emotion as a
life factor, hoping that it may, at least in its general scope, be of
service to future explorers. In taking up this subject of anger we do
then thus reiterate the position we occupy and the method we follow.

Anger like fear certainly originated at some critical point in some
individuals life as an advantageous variation of essential value. A
vital issue at some early point in the history of life determined the
genesis of this new psychic mode and function as a stimulant of
aggressive will action. Very likely it was in competition of organisms
for food that some favoured individual first attained the power of
getting mad and violently attacking its fellows, and so obtaining
sustenance. However this may be, certain it is that a direct attack is
often more self-conservative than attempts at escape when injury
threatens; it is a greater advantage to destroy pain-giver than to shun
it. Fear enables organisms to avoid loss, but it does not accomplish
positive gain, as anger does through overcoming hindrance. Anger is
often also more economical for the forces of the organism, and thus, in
general, predacious animals are longer-lived than even those of their
prey who may attain a full length of life. Even in the face of great
odds a direct attack is often more serviceable than attempt at escape.
Anger is certainly the primitive motive force of all offensive action,
though of course we cannot say that the animal got mad because it saw
the serviceability. Psychic evolution, at least as far as new powers are
concerned, never comes by teleologic foresight, and, indeed, cannot by
the nature of the case. The animal did not definitely set out to get
angry because it foresaw the value, yet in the earliest angers there
must have been effort, a certain _nisus_ which marked the new form as a
real attainment, a marked achievement. That the provoking occasion gives
rise now to anger inevitably and naturally, that anger comes upon us and
overcomes us is true enough, but in its earliest phases anger must have
been, like other just evolving factors, supported only by powerful will
effort. The oftener the early psychism got mad, the easier it got mad.
Facility came only by practice, and a large variety of occasions,
besides the simple critical and original one, were gradually utilized by
the anger faculty. But in its original form and occasion anger was, no
doubt, akin to that we see when an extremely timid animal at the last
extremity will turn in anger and fiercely fight for its life. Such an
attempt, sometimes successful, marks an origin of a new mode of
conscious emotion which may never return to the individual again during
all its future life for lack of occasion. If often returning and often
improved, a definite new habit of emotion is established, and from being
a fearful animal it may at length become dominantly irascible, and so
belong to a totally distinct psychic genus.

By the evolution of anger then, as in contradistinction to fear, two
grand divisions of animate existence were set apart, two great psychical
orders as fundamentally distinct and important for evolutionary
psychics, as invertebrate and vertebrate for biology. The rise of the
back-boned animal is not more important for physiological morphology
than the evolution of anger for psychical morphology, and, indeed, as we
have before remarked, the psychical growth is ever the broadest and
deepest fact in evolution. By the acquirement and predominance of the
anger stimulus certain animals became differentiated as a distinct class
from their fearful neighbours, and they then by this new impulse
gradually attained instruments of offence, and also by increase of size
became physically distinct forms. Henceforth the animate world becomes
divided in a more and more marked way into pursuers and pursued. By
mutual interaction fear is increased on one side as anger increases on
the other, and the division into timid and fierce, predacious and prey,
becomes more and more established and marked.

We take it then that it was a most momentous day in the progress of mind
when anger was first achieved, and some individual actually got mad. If
the exact date and the particular individual were ascertainable a
memorial day set apart for all time would not be too great an honour. In
the struggle of existence, other things being equal, the most irascible
is the most successful, faring the best, securing the best mate, and
having the best and most numerous progeny. Susceptibility to anger
becomes a necessity to a large class of organisms, and those who will
not get angry and fight for their interests are surely trampled on or
pushed aside to become starveling or outcast.

Is now this primitive anger an absolutely new power, a _de novo_
evolution, or is it possible to study its rise as a gradual
differentiation from some other factor? Must we not view psychical
evolution like all evolution as coming under the law of continuity? How
then explain the sudden rise of apparently new and distinct forms like
anger or fear? Anger as a response to the demands of life seems from the
very first to be as distinctly and peculiarly anger as at any time in
its development. The peculiar quality which makes anger anger, does not
seem to appear as a gradual differentiation from other elements as
slowly emerging from previous modes, but we can only judge that it
bursts suddenly upon the field as a new and unique creation, which does
not find its explanation in pre-existent forms and cannot be traced as a
gradual evolution from them. On the other hand, while it does not at
first sight seem possible to regard anger as being from the first other
than a radically new power and activity determined, indeed, by the
struggle for existence, but wholly unexplained in its essence and
formation as a consciousness related to and differentiated from other
consciousnesses, yet we must acknowledge our profound ignorance of the
real morphology of mind and what is the real nature of mental
differentiation. Here the problem is altogether more difficult than in
biology, where the appearance of new forms like wings can be readily
traced as slow modifications of previous members, the physical
possibility and _rationale_ of which is easily seen to be inherent in
the physical constitution of the body and its circumambient matter, the
air. However, in the present state of our psychical knowledge it is
quite impossible to attain any similarly clear conception as to the
formation of new psychical forms. We may see why they should be called
into being by the necessities of animate life, we can perceive their
functional importance from the first, but to trace their morphological
development as gradually assuming their peculiar qualities as
modifications of already existing activities, and as inherently possible
in the psychical constitution of things, this is clearly beyond us at
present. We can conceive that the earliest anger was weak and rather
ineffective as compared with the fully developed anger of later life,
but we cannot see that it was any the less anger, any the less purely
and wholly _sui generis_ than the very latest and strongest form. Has it
ever in its earlier stages that hybrid and mixed character which marks
it as a modification of existent factors? It is certainly not a modified
fear, to which it is, indeed, a polar opposite.

But we may perhaps regard anger, and fear as well, as modified from
previous general emotion. We may, indeed, consider it likely that some
general emotional phase preceded the special emotions, just as a general
indefinite pain and pleasure preceded definite pains and pleasures. It
may be considered as probable that emotion first appeared as a purely
undifferentiated disturbance sequent on sense of the experienceable
pain, this general emotion being neither fear nor anger, but the basis
from which both develop. The psychic agitation we term emotional very
likely began in a purely general form, yet it is hard to understand how
peculiar forms develop therefrom. We are too far from such inchoate
experience to readily come to any appreciation of its method or mode. We
may be disturbed as to something imminent and know not whether to fear
or be angry, but this in general means only a rapid alternation of fear
and anger according as the mind runs back and forth between fear and
anger-provoking elements. It is unlikely that we can trace in any such a
purely undifferentiated emotion.

At the best we but throw the difficulty farther back, for emotion _per
se_ is then the _de novo_ form to which the principle of continuity does
not seem to apply. If anger is a traceable modification of some more
general emotion as combined with definite representation and volition
modes, yet how the peculiar anger quality is achieved is still
unexplained. On the whole it seems simplest and truest to assume the
first impulse of anger as a perfectly new and diverse wave of emotion
suddenly generated in answer to some extreme urgency in the struggle of

The analogy of organic and psychic evolution may be pressed to a certain
extent. It is plainly possible to set in order an evolutionary series of
light—sensing organs, eyes—from most elementary to most complex, and it
is quite as possible, though yet to be done, to set forth in similar
genetic order a series of psychic states as offence-sense, _i.e._,
angers, in their increasing differentiation. But previous to any eye, to
local visualization, there is a period of common sensation when an
absolutely simple organism is in every part equally responsive to light;
in a crude way the whole organism reacts to light, from which stage by
traceable specialization the eye as a light-sensing organ is gradually
developed. Here analogy would seem to fail, unless we consider it to be
the stage when any psychosis, _e.g._, anger, requires the whole
consciousness capacity, mind being merely a capacity for the recurrent
but isolated single-activities. Mind certainly but slowly grows into
that sum of organic coincident interdependent yet distinct
consciousnesses which we commonly think of under the term, mind. Anger
in its very earliest and lowest form is no doubt an absorbing naïve
isolated wave, as common to mind as a whole, that is, as making up the
whole of mind for the time being, is perhaps in its measure an analogy
to common sensation. Anger may then be but a common emotion, answering
in a certain aspect to light-sense, sound-sense, etc., as purely common
sensations. But we must remark that general sensation is not to be
confounded with common sensation, or general emotion with common
emotion. Common sensations are, indeed, usually very general in form,
and a sensation _per se_, a purely general sensation, is probably very
rarely anything else, yet when we close the eyes and direct them toward
the sun, the general sensation of light we receive—very like the
original primitive common sensation—is general, yet by a special organ.
The word common refers, not to the special nature of the function
itself, but the fact that the function, whether special or general, is
performed indifferently, or practically so, by the common whole. A
sensation of coloured light is more special than a mere sensation of
light, and this than mere general sensation of force, but all may be
accomplished either by common sensation or special sensation. General
emotion may similarly be either common or in organic co-activity. There
was certainly a time when consciousness existed which was not and could
not be anger or fear or even an emotion _per se_. Pre-emotional and
pre-representative consciousness was so absolutely primitive, general,
and common, that psychology as a necessarily automorphic science will be
very long in coming to any understanding of this field, but yet we must
set it off as something which must always receive some consideration.
Anger is not a property of all consciousness by the nature of
consciousness itself, but is merely a possible mode dependent on
circumstances for its development at a certain psychic stage.

What now is the inner nature and what the constituent elements of the
anger state? Comparatively few reflect upon their emotions save from an
ethical standpoint, and very few indeed attempt any analysis of them. To
determine the process and exact psychical constituents of getting mad
and being mad, may seem to many a quite useless and foolish
introspective endeavour. If a person is angry, he is angry, and that is
all there is of it, will be the general verdict of common sense. You can
dissect flowers into their parts, you can analyse rocks and soils, but
any emotion such as anger is wholly unanalyzable. No one can know what
it is to be mad until he has once been mad, and, thereafter, he can only
reflect upon it as a peculiar excitement, a powerful agitation, whose
occasions and results may be fully traced, but which in itself is _sui
generis_ and irresolvable. The form of consciousness we know as being
angry, is really a simple wave of emotion which stands by itself as an
elementary and ultimate form.

Suppose we acknowledge these remarks as true, we may yet maintain that
anger, like all emotions, is a highly complex state of manifold factors
whose sum total, whose grand resultant, is a seemingly simple and
peculiar _status_. Why should one arrangement of atoms produce a
peculiar perfume, another a peculiar stench? Anger may likewise be
merely an unexplainable _ensemble_ of early ascertainable elements.

Certain it is, in the first place, that sense of object is necessary to
anger. One cannot be mad without being mad _at_ something. The attitude
of mind is objective, and even rage in its blindest moment preserves
this attitude. Blind with rage, means no more than that various definite
qualities of the object are lost in the intense emotional reaction at
pain-giver. At its height, anger preserves, indeed, only the barest
apprehension of object; but this is intense and overpowering in
connection with the sense of it as infringing and injuring. In the
transports of rage and fury, the movements are wild and reckless enough,
but always antagonistic, implying outward destructive activity. Anger is
the fixation of the mind upon some object in its quality of personal
hurtfulness, and is revulsion, not _from_ it, as fear, but _against_ it.
With early psychisms, all perceptions of objects end in either anger or
fear, and a large part of early education consists in learning what
objects to be fearful of, and what to be angry at. The alertness of wild
animals is determined mainly by either nascent fear or anger. When a dog
is suddenly wakened from sleep he generally shows either fear or anger.
This is merely an illustration of how the dimmest sense of object
immediately connects itself with emotion as primitive and fundamental
tendency. The organism perceives the object, and representing its
imminent hurtfulness, feels fear and dashes away from it, or feels anger
and dashes against it. These are the two simplest possible reactions
with sense of the experienceable injurious. In fear there is elimination
of oneself from the injury, and in anger the elimination of the injury
from oneself. With later anger and fear these processes of elimination
themselves become matters of representation, and make a large part in
highly-developed forms.

A knowledge which very generally enters into anger is the comparative
estimate of power. A cat scratches us, we are angry; a lion threatens
us, we are afraid. The progress of the lower psychic life is largely in
learning what is best to fear and what should excite anger. That which
at first angers will often, when better understood, produce fear, and
_vice versâ_. Wild animals at first often show merely anger when
molested by man, but soon manifest fear as they learn to appreciate his
superior power. The African elephant learns to distinguish between the
savage with his spear, and the white hunter with his rifle, and is
merely irritated or angry with the one, while he manifests genuine fear
of the other. The young of animals and of man continually show
irrelevant fear and anger. They are generally either over fearful or
over irritable. Our own feelings are powerfully modified by varying
estimates of opposing force and injury. If, in passing through a dark
street, I am tripped by what I take to be a child’s snare, I am angered,
but upon noticing that it is a fuse to a dynamite bomb, I am thrown into
intense fear. In general, any sensation, as of sound or light, in its
lower grades of intensity produces anger, in higher occasions fear. As a
rule when reactions induced by either fear or anger are uniformly
unsuccessful, natural selection favours the development of the other.

While the comparative estimate of opposing force with one’s own is
general ingredient in anger, anger being fear-limited, it is not, as
Mercier would indicate (_Mind_, ix., p. 346), a constant element in
anger. We often see cases of anger, and have perhaps, ourselves,
experienced anger which is totally unrelated to a sense of power. Some
animals seem at times utterly fearless and utterly unaware of the
tremendous crushing force they angrily oppose. It is, moreover,
altogether probable that anger and fear originated and received a
certain measure of development before any capacity of measuring
comparative force of antagonist arose in mind. However, the
discrimination between overwhelming and slight force is certainly
tolerably early, and is obviously a very necessary factor in
self-conservative action. Yet it is very unlikely that this was an
element in primitive fear or anger, which must have been no more than a
simple emotional reaction to perceived injury without any reference to
whether pain-giver is more or less strong than pain-receiver. The
earliest fears and angers of infants seem to be quite devoid of any
guidance from sense of powerlessness or power, but merely direct,
unthinking reactions.

A marked and constant element in anger is hostility. This is the
aggressive fighting attitude of will which is exercised toward and
against the perceived pain-giving object. Anger can never subsist
without this volition element, and it always appears as direct simple
reaction to anger-provoking object. Anger always exhibits itself as
hostility, openly and freely in lower life, and in higher life, which is
often disingenuous, the hostility as real psychic act remains, though
somewhat concealed in physical manifestation as long as angry mood
exists. The will tendency is always toward the violent removing and
destroying of the offending object. However, naïve primitive anger does
not include in its hostility giving pain for pain received, making the
object suffer in turn, which is, indeed, far removed from the capacity
of primitive mind to conceive. Anger in its earliest form does, of
course, inflict pain where its object is pain-susceptible; but this, it
may confidently be said, cannot lie in the intent of the pain-inflicter.
The simple original ebullitions of anger do not include intent in any
form. Volition is powerfully and directly incited by the emotion without
the intervention of any idea. The only representation in the simplest
anger is the representation of pain experience impending which occasions
the excitement, which then directly and violently starts will-activity;
but the representations of destructiveness and pain-infliction as ends
become guiding ideas only in the slow evolution of anger toward more
intelligent forms.

Pain is certainly a prominent element in anger. This pain is the
emotional pain, the pain at pain, whose nature and origin we have
commented on in the chapter on fear. The mere representation of pain to
be starts a violent pain quite distinct from the fear-pain, yet like it,
pre-eminently central and subjective. Precedent, however, to both fear
and anger-pain, is the simple pain which immediately arises on
representation of pain, the prospect of pain being immediately and
peculiarly painful in itself. This commonly continues throughout, and
gives a dominant pain tone. But there immediately succeeds a rush of
either fear or anger emotion, each intensely painful in opposite ways.
The pain which results from the anger, which is by the anger occasioned
in me, is again distinct from the pain in and of the anger. Anger is
itself a state of pain. In its earliest forms, as rarely and with
difficulty attained, there is still another pain connected with anger,
the pain of exertion and stress. But all the pain factors, as more or
less continuous, make anger, as emotion in general, a complex pain
state. Thus, when angered by a man shaking his fist in my face, we trace
first a purely subjective pain at prospect of pain, then a rush of
aggressive emotion which embodies in it a pain of its own, then a pain
which reacts from the peculiar tension of the anger state. Of course, in
our stage of evolution, anger has become such an inwrought factor that
it arises spontaneously, it overtakes and overcomes us, not we reaching
it; and so the stress or labour pain is absent. It is never or very
rarely an effort for us to get angry, but it must have been for our very
remote psychical ancestors.

While it may be said with truth that some people are never so happy as
when mad, yet we must remember this does not alter the fact that anger
is radically a pain state. There may be a pleasure from anger
excitement, and from successful anger; there may be a pleasure in the
mere exercise of aggressive power; but the happiness meant is mostly the
excitement pleasure _plus_ the delight which always comes from freely
following out one’s nature. Especially when the outflow of natural force
in an irascible man has been pent up and restrained for some time, a fit
of anger is altogether a delightful experience, the pleasure of relief
in a habitual function. Thus an occasional fight is necessary to the
pugnacious amongst both animals and men; it is an inbred function and
tendency which must work itself out, or render the being as miserable as
a rodent kept from gnawing. But all this does not interfere with the
analysis of anger as fundamentally painful. Happiness is a very late
evolution, and, as the reaction from freely working out one’s strongest
tendency, it is unfelt by early minds, which only gradually attain
inwrought tendencies and so the capacity for being happy or unhappy. To
witness a fight is likewise to a large class of minds a supreme
felicity. This is largely the pleasure which comes at second hand from
representation of participancy. And so, to have a fight described, or to
read about it even, is a source of considerable representative pleasure
to many, a spurious and reflected anger, and an ideal fighting in the
fray. However, all this leads far away from primitive emotion, which is
now our main concern.

We may grant then that sense of the object giving pain, sense of
comparative power, hostility, and pains of various kinds, are usual
elements in anger; yet it is evident that anger is explained by no one
or all of them. It is not a mere aggregation and mixture of states, it
is essentially a compound which has in some unexplained way a peculiar
quality which is not in any of its constituent elements. When I am
angry, there occurs a phenomenon which, while based on and inclusive of
these factors, is yet peculiar in itself. The flush of anger, the wave
of emotion, the tempest of passion, bases itself on and includes
cognition, hostility, and pain; but it is more—it is a deep psychic
disturbance of a peculiar and undefinable kind which we recognise when
we have it, but which we cannot analyse. We express the nature of anger
metaphorically, indeed, when we speak of an angry man being “hot,”
“boiling with rage,” etc., as opposed to being chilled and frozen stiff
by fear. The being angry is obviously a kind of being pained at pain
quite opposite to that of fear. It is also true that I may see
threatening injury, I may be pained, I may combat, but not be angry.
There are other and higher motives which may bring about the violent
will offensive activity so often required in the struggle of life; but
we may take it that anger is the most primitive, and throughout the
whole range of psychism the most common offensive motive, and so of the
utmost importance as a life factor.

Which shall we regard as the more primitive, anger or fear? Were animals
at first universally timid, and subsequently acquired anger as an
advantageous variation, or was anger the first, and fear the
complementary and later evolution, or may we suppose that they developed
in strict correlation? The earliest manifestations of emotion with some
animals, and with some human infants, seem to be anger. Everything
perceived to be painful irritates and makes them mad, and they are quite
fearless in the presence of overwhelming danger. These but slowly learn
to fear; by hard experience they learn the hurtfulness and inutility of
combatting in many cases, and occasions which would once make them mad
now cause them to fear. On the other hand, we observe many of the very
young who seem to be universally fearful, and but slowly acquire “spunk”
and spirit. Mental embryology thus, at least with our present very
imperfect knowledge, is quite indecisive on the question. If fear and
anger were wholly determined by relation of predacious and prey, then we
might suppose correlated simultaneous origin; but we know that obstacles
and injuries, not from competitors, but from elements, forces, and
objects of nature, were the first environment and the first field for
struggle. Organism began as a weak thing planted amongst manifold
opposing forces, where fear was quite the most salutary emotion and
anger useless. If, as we must deem probable, mental function in general
and emotion in particular reaches back toward primitive organism, it is
likely, on merely general grounds, that fear is the more ancient and
original emotion, though anger was closely subsequent. The general
conditions of life at the first would demand the development of fear
more imperatively than anger. Certainly, however, both emotions are
sufficiently primitive, as is shown by their being so ingrained and
dominant forces in the whole range of lower psychic life.

All higher animals, moreover, are peculiarly sensitive to and observant
of signs of anger and fear. Rarey, a most excellent judge, made it an
axiom of his method that horses are extremely acute in detecting either
fear or anger in those who deal with them, and this is also noticeably
true of animals in general. These are also the emotional attitudes which
are earliest interpreted by children. Now what is soonest, easiest and
surest interpreted by psychisms above the lowest may be taken to be
fundamentally primitive and such are fear and anger. To discover with
readiness and certainty the emotional states of organisms about them,
because these states are the motives of very important activities, is
clearly an advantage early gained in the struggle of existence. It means
preparedness, and there is a nascent anger to break forth against the
fearful, or fear or counter-anger prepared against the fear discerned or
suspected. The inter-related activity of these two emotions is the
chiefest and most interesting spectacle we see in all lower psychic

But we must notice now a form which seems on the whole to belong to the
anger group, and that is hate. Hate often precedes and succeeds anger,
and the object of anger is peculiarly apt to be the object of hate. The
man whom we hate very easily angers us, and he who provokes us is one
whom we are apt to hate. Yet a person may be very provoking, even
exasperating, and not be hateful, and _vice versâ_ for hate. It is
obvious then that while the object of anger and hate is apt to be the
same, yet it is viewed from very different standpoints, and the emotion
reactions are somehow very different. “I hate him,” and “I am angry at
him,”—these expressions denote very distinct emotions. While anger and
hate are both aggressive emotion reactions against the pain-giver, yet
in their nature they are essentially diverse. In general we hate him who
deliberately and constantly provokes us, who establishes himself as a
deliberate enemy. It is harmful, opposed intent that particularly
stimulates hate. But anger is most generally a sudden flash of feeling
leading to violent repulsive effort against pain-giver, but without any
insight into intent. The immediacy of reaction is accomplished through
anger; but hate, having more of insight and foresight, is more slowly
generated, and is not so directly and promptly active. I may be angry at
one who casually pinches me in sport, but I will hate him who
continually pinches me in spite. I may be angry at the child who in its
childish play often interrupts my studies, but I do not hate it; this I
reserve for the malicious boys who continually put tick-tacks on my
windows. And so also inanimate things often arouse anger; but we hate
only the animate, and then mainly when we discern deliberate, purposed
offence. To be sure we often hear some such expression as, “I hate the
very sight of that house”; but here the term hate denotes loathing, and
is only a little less flagrant misuse than when I say “I hate ham, but
love beefsteak.”

Hate, then, marks in a very noticeable way the growth of psychic
responsiveness. A prevision of psychic attitude of others, especially
the emotional and volitional, is of the utmost service as helping to and
preparing for an appropriate response. Thus we may believe that quite
early in mental evolution there came an appreciation and interpretation
of the psychic modes of others as affecting the interests of the
individual. We may judge that this is probable by the very apparent
difference of reaction of even certain of the lower animals in the
presence of threatening dangers from common material things, and from
animate beings capable of being not merely crushed or pushed away, but
intimidated and frightened away. Young children learn quickly to
distinguish between mere physical events and psychic expressions, and to
feel and to act toward the psychic in the peculiar manner which will
best serve them. Thus it becomes of very definite value to excite fear
in enemies, but even a low animal learns speedily that it cannot terrify
a large stone which prevents access to food. Now fear and anger
obviously do not specially belong to the rather advanced class of
emotions which are always psychically responsive, for, in earliest
phases at least, both fear and anger may be taken to have no reference
to the psychic quality of the object, but only to the physical quality
as painful and injurious. However, later fear and anger become cognizant
of the psychic attitude and responsive thereto; but it may be said that
hate from the first is a psychic responsive, it is an answer to the
psychic attitude of others as interpreted by the individual as turned
towards itself. Hate is always against evil intent; anger and fear may
be. Hate and anger are both intensified by hate and anger in the
object—though this may often occasion fear—but fear, on the contrary, is
greatly weakened, and sometimes turned into hate or anger, by perceiving
its object as fearing it. I naturally hate those and am angered with
those whom I perceive as having the same passions against me; but he
whom I see fearing me does not thereby inspire my fear for him, but
tends in quite the contrary direction. Yet mutual fear in equally
matched opponents is consistent with mutual anger and hate. Fear, with
those who are capable of inflicting about equal losses on each other,
acts as a check upon anger and hate, and gives caution and wariness to
passion itself.

The object of hate then differs from that of anger and fear, as being
invariably a psychic quality in another as injurious to one’s own
interests. Injuriousness _per se_ does not excite hate as it may anger
and fear. Animals, indeed, often seem to hate that which has no psychic
attitude toward them, and may be wholly incapable of it; but this is
error of judgment, just as we ourselves often find ourselves wrong in
hating where we supposed there was evil feeling toward us, but where we
now see there is none. Hate disappears the moment we discover our
mistake of interpretation.

While hate often views its object very largely from the retrospective
side, as opposed to fear and anger, which are generally prospective, yet
hate originally must have applied to the present or latent potency of
the object for harm, for only in this wise does it reach
self-conservative value. In early psychic life there is no time or place
for purely retrospective emotion like revenge and resentment. Hate is
not essentially a paying back for the past offence, but a will-inciting
emotion of immediate, or imminently prospective value. In fact, though
we say, “he has done me injury and I hate him for it,” yet we do not
hate the dead injurer or the one so crippled as to be entirely powerless
against us. Certainly there is no value for our interests in injuring
the one who is past injuring us, and from the self-conservative point of
view to exercise ourselves in hate or anger in such a case is to waste
energy. Feeling for what has been done against us, purely as such, is
plainly sheer waste of force. The past is irretrievable, and emotion
about it is valuable for life only so far as the past implies the
future. Thus it is that hate, arising because of self-conservative
value, and developing under natural selection, never becomes wholly

Hate then is at first much the same in its elements as anger. It is
always objective. Hate is always of something, though extreme passion
dulls perception, yet at its normal tension hate, like other emotions,
is incentive to beneficial cognition. We are closely observant of those
we hate. Beside sense of object, there is the will-stirring, the
hostility, which is prominent in anger, though here more controlled and
not so impetuous and naïve. Hate thus often allies itself with fear, but
anger is very rarely coincident with it, though there may be rapid
alternations. There is also a hate pain which is a parallel complex to
the anger pain already analysed. We might term hate a distilled anger,
and yet this signifies little, for the innermost emotion seems very
distinct. Like fear and anger, hate seems a _genus_ by itself, and in
its essential feature as emotion-reaction, quite beyond scientific
analysis, which can point out its conditions, but not account for their
total value or for the peculiar quality of hate disturbance by which
hate is hate. Hate can be appreciated only by realization, but no matter
how long we reflect upon and try to catch its exact nature in some
definite formula, the essence of hate always eludes, and presents itself
as only a bare simple psychosis wholly indefinable and inexplicable in
its essential nature.

But if we turn now to the origin and development of hate, shall we
arrive at anything more satisfactory? Is hate a modified anger, or is it
from the first a wholly distinct emotion and not slowly differentiated
from any preceding psychosis? Hate evidently belongs with anger as
aggressive emotional reaction, but it is very hard to see how it could
originate by any slow growth, and it seems easier and simpler to regard
it as being a unique response to some very pressing demand in the
struggle of existence.

The whole subject of mental differentiation needs clarifying. Are we to
consider mind merely as a sum of many distinct modes each of which has,
in the course of evolution, appeared suddenly in answer to the demands
of life at a critical period, and is faint, indeed, yet from the first
having a distinct and peculiar quality by which it suitably stimulates
will, and that the sole growth of these diverse forms has been in
intensity and by various associations with other states? or are we to
consider that mind was originally a very general vague state, which, by
a continuous and traceable differentiation, has slowly developed into
many different modes? Certainly the latter seems the more rational. To
conceive that there are no essential and radical subdivisions in mind,
that not even knowing, feeling, and willing, are fundamentally
primitive, but each, and each form of each, but modifications of
precedent modes, this is a theory which is enticing in its simplicity
and in its analogy to physical evolution from a single underlying
material element. But when we come to particular investigations, as this
of the origin and development of hate, we cannot well discover any modes
intermediate between it and say, anger, which are the links in a
continuous evolution, but for aught we can see or conceive, hate is as
much hate the first time it appears as at any subsequent time. The links
in the evolution of mind from phase to phase are all missing, and how
are we to supply them? Of necessity as subjective facts they must first
be realized, before they can be known, but how can this be done by a
consciousness which has long outgrown them? We cannot discover these
fossil and extinct forms objectively, as the paleontologist discovers
extinct species, but in some way we must re-enact and re-experience them
in our own consciousness before we can know anything about them. If
every mind embryologically passes through the several stages of its
general evolution in the race, still the strange intermediate forms
which might then have existed are beyond the recall of the reflective
stage, when we first demand to know the history of mind. And when we
appeal to comparative psychology we are equally in the dark, for we must
judge animals by ourselves, we can interpret their consciousness only by
our own, and they may have very rude and peculiar forms which are
unknown and unknowable by us. Thus the limitations and difficulties of
subjective research are especially brought up to us in evolutionary
study which thus seems wholly confined to _a priori_ speculation. While
we can conceive it likely that hate was suddenly brought into full being
by the demands of life, yet it is hardly a rational view of emotion to
regard it as a _per saltum_ series of distinct psychical species called
successively into being by the exigencies of existence, which indeed, is
a view almost as ultra-scientific as that which regards all mental modes
as direct endowments from Deity.

But though on general scientific analogy we are led to believe in fossil
mental forms, in missing psychic links now extinct as regards our own
consciousness, but which were the germs of our present distinct
emotions, perceptions, etc., how are we to discover and investigate
them? Can we work our own consciousness back through the multitudinous
stages of its past evolution, through myriads of human and pre-human
forms to the confused, primal, undifferentiated psychoses?

Certainly the forms which lead up to such an emotion as hate and from
which it is gradually evolved must be realized, must be actually felt in
some measure before they can be understood and analyzed. Here then seems
a great barrier to introspective evolutionary psychology, perhaps
insuperable, for how can mind retrace itself, involute itself, in the
interests of science? Mind is fundamentally action, motive-feeling,
which, in connection with cognitive forms gradually achieved, becomes
from mere pure pleasure-pain a very complex manifold. We feel many of
these forms in our own experience, and we can say of some that they are
the higher, of others that they are the lower and more primitive. Thus
fear, anger, and hate are generally regarded as low action-motives as
compared with love of truth or justice. But while we distinguish in our
own consciousness and by analogy in the consciousness of others a
considerable variety of psychic forms, they are, so far as we are able
to see—and we have given some special attention to this in discussing
fear and other emotions—invariably distinct, and each has its own
peculiar quality, and we do not find, and we should not expect to find,
the intermediate forms any more than the anatomist would expect to find
in man a radial starfish structure. The hazy, indefinite phases which
mark evolving consciousness into new forms have been long done away with
for such emotions as hate, and it would seem an impossible task to ever
bring them back. When we let consciousness lapse of its own regressive
tendency—and undirected consciousness tends always to revert to _wild_
states—we fall down through a series, but it is by steps, and no gradual
descent, that is, defined mental forms succeed each other, with no
transitional phases which are both as differentiating into either. We
have mixed states, indeed, but these have no evolutionary value in this
line, being merely coincident distinct psychoses, and not an
intermediate differentiating mode. The psychoses which we call lower and
which we naturally _fall into_, were really a higher level once for some
remote ancestors, and it was only by occasional great efforts that fear,
anger, hate, etc., were reached, by just such efforts as now are
required by many a worldling who would be religious and would attain a
feeling for holiness, or that of a Philistine, ambitious of reaching
æsthetic feeling, who endeavours to appreciate the refined, elaborate
power in a poem by Rossetti, or the simple human grandeur in a painting
by Millet. In some forms we know what it is to try to feel, to have dim
and vague stirring of æsthetic emotion, and to reach new levels in
emotion generally, and we know the stages of differentiation and the
severe _nisus_ of the earlier realizations. On the _nisus_ side of our
psychic life there is abundant opportunity for every one to observe the
process of mental differentiation, and how slowly evolving a new emotion
is, for instance, before it reaches a definite form, but there is the
great range of purely natural, spontaneous life, deriving its whole
_impetus_ from ancestral minds, where, as in hate and anger, it is
impossible to study the slowly modifying forms precursory to the
distinct mode. How can we find or produce in ourselves a state which is
not yet hate, but merely hate in becoming, a half-differentiated,
half-evolved hate? If we could put ourselves on the _nisus_ side, and
look up to hate as something to be reached, instead of something we may
fall into, we might attain some idea of its process of formation. But
since hate, anger, and so forth, invariably come upon us and overcome
us, how can we appreciate their evolutionary stages? If we could trace
these old intermediate disused forms which merely lead up to others, we
should find them very strange, and should need an entirely new
nomenclature for them. But to reach back and realize long outgrown and
fossil psychoses, will, if ever possible, require more exertion and
ability than even the intense struggle of the actual psychical advances
which adds, by the efforts of exceptional individuals—“geniuses”—new
modes of cognition and feeling to the mind of a race. To regress beyond
a certain point is harder than to progress.

How then hate developed from non-hate, from anger, or from any other
emotion, is obviously a very difficult problem. It would seem to us in
our present stage of mentality that the first hate phenomenon was
definitely and inexplicably such. We cannot perceive or conceive how the
origin of hate is other than a sudden apparition of a new and elementary
emotion in response to an extraordinary call upon some extraordinary
organism in its life career. Yet we may easily believe that the direct
occasion of its rise and progress was as complement to anger. Anger is
certainly in general a very advantageous self-conservative factor, but
by reason of its violence it requires a vast amount of vital energy to
accomplish its end, and it thus also tends to disturb the cognitive
power in its clear and cool actions. A burst of passion, though it may
succeed in destroying the injurious, is both uneconomical and
unintelligent. It is also a very transient phase. Anger will be defeated
and supplanted in the evolution of life by some factor which has not
these incidental disadvantages. Hate is such a superior psychosis, and
is surer, steadier, and more economical than anger, and defeats it in
the long run.

Hate then may be taken to exemplify the principle of antithetic
evolution. We are careful not to raise the anger of some men and of some
animals, and thus anger, or the capacity for anger, serves them as
advantage and defence. We fear to make them mad. However, the
antagonists of many individuals, knowing the weakening effect of such a
strong emotion as anger, and knowing also how apt the angry one is to
“lose his head,” purposely stimulate anger to their own advantage, and
the disadvantage of the angered. Thus, cunning and wary animals,
impelled by hate, often tease and torment their stronger and larger
adversaries and competitors into a furious rage, which is so rash and
unintelligent that they are completely at the mercy of the weaker. Where
in such a way as this an advantageous variation is turned into
disadvantageous by an opposing form, as anger by hate, we have what may
be called an antithetic evolution. New psychic variations are then
continually stimulated by the earlier, and it is only for a short time
that any variation maintains itself as purely beneficial, but an
answering one soon takes advantage of its weak points and turns it from
self-conservative into self-destructive. Under the constant success of
opposing factors, there is gradual loss of value and soon disuse, with
the inception of some new form to combat more effectively the opponent.
This opposing form meanwhile attains dominancy, culminates, and is
gradually ousted by some variation which has been attained in order to
meet the new weapons on the other side. Thus, in the battle of life,
offence and defence, attack _versus_ retreat and counter-attack,
mutually stimulate to a series of new and higher antithetic psychic

The so-called problem of evil is, then, tolerably easy to a
thorough-going evolutionist. All developments, all perversions which are
self-destructive rather than self-conservative to the individual, have
received their original stimulus from other antagonistic individuals to
whose interest it is to promote these evils to the utmost. What is an
evil to me is first so much of a good to him whose interest lies in
defeating and destroying me, and he will take advantage of all my
weaknesses to his own profit. Competition and struggle involve the
existence of evils to individuals who are conquered and maltreated in
the battle of life. Disease and death itself is necessary to evolution
on a finite sphere. As long as the good and desirable is limited as
compared with the number of those who want, competition must exist, and
this competition must be by both cultivating advantageous variations in
ourselves, and also by cultivating the disadvantageous variations latent
in our enemies. Thus, evil sown in others that our own good may be
advanced is the general law of all life. To injure as much as possible
all those who oppose, and to get as many as possible well affected
towards us, and to be subservient to our ends, this is the meaning of
psychical evolution in all its earlier, and most of its later, course.
On any scheme of evolution by struggle, evil to particular individuals
is a necessary fact. We throw, then, the problem back to how and why
life arose and developed through this competition mode; and all science
at present can say is that it is the “nature of things,” an expression
which covers ignorance and is really metaphysical.

In all its later stages anger, and likewise hate as well, and all the
allied emotions, attach only to what is distinctly known as animate. The
futility and self-destructiveness of anger against the inanimate and
insentient comes to be fully recognised. But early anger is quite
undiscriminating. The hunter, who, pursued by an enraged bear, scatters
his clothes and accoutrements behind him for the bear to tear in pieces,
takes advantage of the unintelligent anger of the bear for his own ends.
Since animals do not wear clothes they have no conception of what they
are as independent insentient things distinct from the wearer. To the
bear the weapons and clothes dropped by the hunter appear not as
inanimate beings, but as living, vitally-connected parts of the creature
pursued. The error arose, not from senselessness, but from lack of range
of experience, and it is akin to the error of the ancient Mexicans who,
having never seen a horse by itself, regarded a man on horseback as a
single creature. A dog, the first time he sees his master unclothed, is
greatly puzzled, and but slowly learns that clothes are something the
master has and not what he is. When weapons, clothes, etc., are at
length distinguished as property, there is yet a natural and right
impulse to destroy them as injuring the owner; but the animal which
stops to do this commits an error of judgment, as it is usually of more
importance to despatch the hunter than to destroy his implements. It is
the tendency of anger to destroy all which is in any wise connected with
its object. This is true, not only of the animal world, but also of the
lower human development. A savage in a fit of fury will slay, not only
an offending fellow, but also his family and relations, and also destroy
all his property. The uselessness, not to say the injustice, of such an
indulgence of anger is only recognised at a comparatively late stage of
evolution. Anger in its later form concerns itself only with purposive
offence in its object, and vents itself solely on the individual
offending. A clear distinction is drawn between animate and inanimate.
Thus, my dog, playing with another, hurt itself by running into a tree,
and gave an angry growl; but noticing the real nature of the paingiver
as, not the other dog, but an inoffensive tree, his attitude immediately
changed, and he seemed to take the injury as a matter of course. A puppy
would in like case senselessly continue its demonstrations of anger to
no good and perhaps to its own injury.

As to the function of anger and hate, this has already been intimated in
the remarks we have just made on its origin and development. For
function it is which gives rise to organ and activity; in some unknown,
mysterious way the pressing life-struggle for useful mental activity
determines ultimately its appearance. We know that extremely hard
conditions, which would threaten the continued existence of animate life
as a whole, or of any large subdivision, would give rise to new
perceptions and emotions by which a saving remnant would escape; and on
this principle we must expect the most signal psychic advance of the
future at that seemingly remote period when mankind will be threatened
with extinction by the slow refrigeration of the earth. A long-continued
uniformity of easy conditions of life, as in the tropics, is distinctly
unfavourable to psychic progress; but let a glacial period invade that
zone, and the changed conditions would awaken such a struggle for
existence in all organisms, man included, that new organic and mental
types would be developed. The necessities of existence and the
self-interest of the individual in an unceasingly sharp competition
develop slowly in the few those mental modes which, from their
functional importance, become the heritage of a race and _genus_; and
these “sports” thereby secure to themselves a certain temporary
dominancy. This is the history of life in general, and of man in
particular. How demand determines supply, how necessity is the mother of
invention, is obvious enough in man, who, clearly conceiving the
function, sets about by his knowledge of means to accomplish the needed
improvement; but in the lower life, which is incapable of such
teleological foresight, we can only say that through pain of lack in the
altered conditions of existence there is stimulated a blind, intense
struggle, which, moving out in all lines, somewhere, at sometime, by
mere chance hitting on the right variation, sticks to it and
accomplishes its own salvation, and leaves descendants who tend in the
same direction. New psychic qualities, as well as new physical organs,
are in some way gradually determined through struggle which is
practically blind. That mental variation, that bodily variation, which
was incessantly demanded in the struggle of existence does somehow
ultimately appear, is, indeed, a fact which, for the present at least,
we can only state in this indefinite, unsatisfactory manner. Blind,
pain-impelled will, fiercely striking out in every direction, does at
length, achieve those new psychical and physical forms which are most
needed by life. The chance serviceable variation is fixed and continued
by reason of its serviceability; but when its utility wanes by reason of
new life factors appearing or new conditions of existence, it is lost by
disuse, or survives in rudimentary forms.

The function of hate is, like anger, to injure and eliminate the
injurious; but what anger accomplishes by a sudden volcanic outburst,
hate accomplishes in a slower, but surer and more subtle way. Hate is,
as previously pointed out, a manifest improvement over anger as a method
of offensive warfare. Other things being equal, the best hater is the
most successful individual. Dr. Johnson had reason on his side when he
said that he loved a good hater. A strong hater, who pertinaciously
assails and injures his enemies, strengthens his own position and makes
the largest place for himself in life. Hate, as a permanent,
economically aggressive motion, marks certainly a great advance, and is
of the highest import for life. If now hate has its own function as
direct stimulus to offensive action toward those who will be injurious,
toward those who are capable and likely to pain and harm us, how shall
we explain the hate—and we might say anger as well—which arises at mere
remembrance of injury, and which seems to have no immediate value for

In the first place we may well doubt whether any purely retrospective
emotion exists, at least in early psychic life. The past, of course, has
no value in and by itself; it is irretrievable, and emotional force
spent upon it as such wasted—“no use crying for spilled milk.” It may
well be that for simple psychisms the past never exists as such; at
least, it is never a stopping point, but a mere _datum_ for interpreting
the inexperienceable. The sense of experience, especially in its
temporal aspect, is very difficult of analysis; yet we may say with some
confidence that at first it does not imply a sense of either the past or
future as such. The mind is immediately impressed by the injuriousness
of the injurious, which, though coming, of course, in terms of the
experienced, is not relegated thereby to a past time, nor is it at all
dwelt upon as such for emotion reaction. Primitive emotion is not
backward looking; for this is in itself entirely futile, and primitive
life depends for its existence and progress upon utility. The value of
emotion is in stimulating preparedness for defence and offence. The
representation of injury inflicted comes up to early mind as some injury
being inflicted, or imminently so, or is applied at once in
interpretation of the experienceable, with no thought or emotion for it
as merely past fact. Advanced psychic life may stop at the first step,
may indulge in retrospection for its own sake, and not for its immediate
value in understanding the experienceable, but primitive emotion is ever
an alertness and anticipatory readiness.

If, now, we turn to some classification of the anger group in itself and
in its general relation to emotion, we obtain something like the

                     ┌ Reaction to     ┌ Regressive—fear.
          Emotion.   │  injurious.     └ Aggressive—anger.
                     │ Reaction to     ┌ Receptive.
                     └  beneficial.    └ Appropriative.

                     ┌ Simple anger or wrath.
                     │ Intensive—Rage or fury.
                     │ Incipient—Displeasure.
                     │ Mild—Irritation.
                     │ Response to purposive injury—Hate.
          Anger      │ Altruistic—Indignation.
                     │ Sentiment—Indignation and Hate.
                     │ Retrospective—Resentment.
                     │ Revenge.
                     │ Sub-hate—Detestation.
                     │ Despite.
                     └ Scorn.

But few remarks need to be added to elucidate the outline. Exasperation
is plainly a late form of anger. It belongs to the period when anger has
been subjected to will restraint, and when something passes all bounds
of forbearance—is “perfectly maddening”—we are exasperated. Anger of a
high and peculiar intensity produced by special and repeated provocation
is known as exasperation. For intensive hate there seems no special
word, at least, in English, though we denote it by adjective as bitter,
malignant, virulent. Detest sometimes means strong hatred. Malice is not
an emotion; it is a state of mind which is implied in hate, namely,
deliberate intent to injure. We do not say we feel malicious; but if we
hate, we are malicious. Malice is merely an objective term for a will
element in hate, and denotes character of act.

The sight of injury done to others produces indignation. When law or
principle injured and violated excites indignation or hate, we have that
feeling for the abstract—rarely pure—which is termed sentiment. He who
is indignant at injustice and he who hates sin have risen to the highest
evolution of the anger group. For an account of resentment and revenge
see chapter on Retrospective Emotion. In the earlier stages both anger
and hate are rather undiscriminating as to rank or _status_ of opposing
object, but in later evolution there must be a sense of equality. When
we consider the offending ones as entirely below us, as unworthy of our
anger or hate, we detest or despise. Our relations with them may compel
us to notice them and to have some feeling toward them, but we would not
lower ourselves to fight them. To detest is to feel a strong revulsion,
but it also in measure has a direct objective movement. Still, although
detestation, despising, scorn, contempt, are by no means so actively
aggressive as the other members of the group, they have evidently a
direct affiliation with hate and anger. In all these there is direct
repulse of all relation with what is below us, a position holding off
and looking down upon the offending object as too small and mean for us
to seriously oppose.

We cannot at present elaborate more fully an analysis, a genetic
investigation, nor a classification, of what must appear to every
attentive student of mind as a most important and extraordinary group of
psychic phenomena. In all the lower psychic life with every perception
comes an emotion reaction, very generally either of a fear or anger
character. Everything perceived has a definite life meaning, nothing is
indifferent, and, in fact, primitive perception cannot exist except as
prompting and being prompted by emotion or feeling. For the low psychism
there is no such vast collection of practically indifferent objects, a
world of things, as maintains a constant and large place in advanced
psychism. Lower mental life is piecemeal, inconsequent and broken, and
wholly directed by feeling phases. Every object has its place only in
relation to self-interest, as favouring or injuring. This is impressed
upon those who have made any study of lower human types, and of wild
animals, where your very presence, no matter how accidental and really
meaningless, is construed as suggesting detriment, and suspicion is
aroused, a preparatory stage to some fear or anger exhibition, one of
those being often nascent, though sometimes not very active owing to the
lack of full certainty as to your injuriousness. For the savage, who is
incapable of disinterestedness, and wholly given up to self-seeking, the
missionary and scientist must have some hidden personal motive, some
intent to take advantage of them, and profit by them. From the first
they are regarded with fear, anger, or hate. The strange and peculiar is
hated merely for being unlike the self, and all non-conformity means
personal slight and insult. With primitive psychism all objects are
coloured by a strong emotion light, and this remains a tendency till the
latest stages of evolution.

Anger and hate have by no means spent their force, even for human
evolution in some of its more advanced forms. We all recognise the
necessity of “spirit” to success. The one who is incapable of anger and
of venting it powerfully is a weakling, and will be trodden under foot
in the battle of life. The high sense of personal honour and advantage,
which will brook no insult with impunity, or allow no injury to go
unpunished and unresented, is still the _sine qua non_ of worldly
success. Show anger, hate, and defiance to all those who invade your
rights; stand up and fight the battle of life against every oncomer, and
secure and hold the position against all competitors. In the natural
course of events—the struggle for self-conservation and
self-aggrandizement—the meek do not inherit the earth, but rather those
who are irascibly aggressive.

The most notable revolution in human history against the general course
of evolution which we have been considering has come from Christianity.
The world says, “If any one smite you on the cheek, hit him between the
eyes”; the Nazarene says, “Offer him the other cheek also”; the world
says, “If any one takes away your cloak, fall upon him and despoil him
of his all”; the Nazarene says, “Give him your coat also”; the world
says, “Hate your enemies”; the Nazarene says, “Love your enemies, bless
them which curse you, and do good to them that despitefully use you.”
The law of natural evolution by fear, anger, hate, strife, is replaced
by a new law of a spiritual evolution through forbearance, humility,
love, loyalty to truth, to beauty, to goodness, and to holiness in a
kingdom not of this “world.” Life consists, not in making friends and
fighting enemies, but in a fight with one’s self to realize unselfish
ideals, to exemplify the highest principles and laws, and to achieve the
largest and best work, without regard to self-conservation or
self-aggrandizement. In this radically new evolution the mind is for
itself, and is not, as in the lower evolution, merely a utilitarian
factor, subservient to the general demands of life. Life, on the
contrary, here becomes subservient to the development of mentality
purely for its own sake. Thus pure science, art for art’s sake, an
independent morality and religion, become possible. The greatest minds
of the race are those who have lived most completely this highest life;
but this new form scarcely touches the great bulk of humanity, and is
very partially developed even in the so-called highest classes.

But it is not our present purpose to survey the higher evolution, or to
point out its _rationale_. For the lower evolution, however, it is
tolerably evident that fear, anger and hate, give the dominant tone to
psychic life. These strong, direct emotions act as fundamental life
factors; without them the individual would be quickly overwhelmed in the
struggle for existence. The conditions of early life absolutely require
these simple, naïve emotions to stimulate advantageous reactions.
Emotional indifferentism is possible only as an artificial and
by-product, a sort of disease or abnormal symptom even in the very
latest phases of human evolution. The comparative psychology of the
future will show more and more clearly and fully the nature and function
of both the fear and anger groups as factors in biologic evolution.

                               CHAPTER XI

To anticipate what is to occur is plainly one of the most useful
achievements of mind, for all providence implies apprehension and
emotion therewith. But to look before and after is certainly not the
prerogative of man alone, but anticipatory power is found throughout the
realm of mind, and constitutes the larger portion of all cognition. To
know a thing means, in general, to appreciate its potentiality; and all
science is really prescience. Knowledge is not the immediate sensation,
but the meaning of it for life; it is the ideal translation from one
sense to another in feeling tendency. Thus, to scent is by itself a
useless acquirement, but the connecting it with desired food is of the
utmost service. The psychism gradually attains the power to interpret by
various _media_ the nature, that is, the experienceability, of the

To foresee is then one of the commonest events in mind, and according to
the painfulness or pleasurability foreseen is felt anger or fear, hope
or desire, or allied emotions. But the foreseen does not always come to
pass, and hence there results a new order of intellectual and emotional
reaction. That what we had in mind would happen comes not, or is other
than foreseen; this has a disturbing effect on cognition and emotion.
Prescience defeated becomes not merely nescience, but there is the
positive definite shock of surprise, and the emotion of disappointment
or some correlated form. Surprise as the sense of contrast of real and
ideal, involving personal sense of limitation and error, is, as we have
noted (pp. 50 ff.), a painful experience. But where there is no
preconceived notion, no expectation, there is no surprise, as Lumholtz
remarks of the Australian savages, that they are not surprised at the
railway and other wonders of civilization; they do not know enough to be
surprised. The full apprehension and understanding of the gap between
ideal and real is but very slowly attained. At first the thwarting is
naturally and easily attributed to an enemy, and there is anger and
pertinacious violence, but ultimately, by sad and repeated experience,
mind is led to notice its own insufficiency, to feel that the conflict
between the actual and the expected is due to subjective error rather
than objective interference. Genuine surprise, as distinct from mere
nervous shock, is then, I think, a later phenomenon than is generally
supposed. What is often taken for surprise with animals and children is
really eager attention. Again, certain modes of fright are often taken
for surprise. But experience must have made a considerable advance in
apprehension of experienceability before a real surprise can be
manifested, which is always the correlative of a sudden contrariness of
experience to what was preconceived. Surprise involves a certain measure
of a theory of experience; in short, a more or less definite body of
knowledge. One who has framed no ideas of what experience should be can
never be really surprised at whatever may happen. However, to be able to
feel surprise is obviously very advantageous, to have a painful and
sharp sense of the incongruity of real and ideal often conducts to that
investigation which results in being prepared against being surprised in
the same way again. The imperfectness of adaptation is thus consciously
and intelligently remedied. The man of large resources, cautious nature,
and keen insight and foresight, is little liable to be surprised, for in
all circumstances he accurately forecasts a very wide range of

When the good expected comes in less measure than was foreseen, or not
at all, or some real evil instead, there is not merely surprise, but
disappointment as well. When what is confidently expected does not
happen, the emotional reaction is surprise; when what is eagerly hoped
for does not occur, disappointment is the result. I am disappointed in
not receiving a certain remittance I had hoped for. Here the ought to
be, the expected, is ranged over against the actual not, as in surprise,
as a sudden and painful change in cognition, but solely for the personal
advantage missed. Disappointment is bound up with the sense of personal
loss and detriment from the happening contrary to expectation. Feeling
of disappointment is thus emotional reaction from cognizance of evil
result where good is looked for. The more it was hoped for, the more
bitter the disappointment. This disappointment has its function as an
emphatic protest against impracticality; the lessons of experience are
thus brought home and made memorable. Disappointment turns life from
false dreams to stern realities; it prompts to an investigation of
causes, and rouses cognition to a full understanding of the situation.
Hope thereby becomes more and more rational and realizable.

In all disappointment we note that the feeling is not about the past as
such, but is with reference to the immediately actual in its unexpected
bearing on life. Thus it is not strictly retrospective emotion. Though
often initial to regret and grief, it should not be confounded with

A curiously illogical remark, and one not uncommonly heard, is, “I hope
you will succeed, but do not be disappointed if you don’t.” This is
really a psychological Hibernicism. Hope is the foundation of
disappointment, and one cannot say, “hope, but do not be disappointed,”
in the same breath with definite meaning. We cannot escape the painful
implications of unfulfilled desire: we cannot both have our cake and eat
it too. Some measure of expectation of success is implied in all
futuritive effort, hence a like measure of disappointment. The real
sense of any such admonition can only be for moderating desire, and so
tempering possible reaction. The expression in question amounts to
little else than a phrase of well-wishing, but with little confidence in
the actual result.

From the feeling of surprise and its congener, disappointment, it is
natural to turn to the feeling for novelty. Surprise and novelty both
relate, but in different ways, to the character of the experience in
relation to other experiences. The strangeness, however, in what is
surprising, and which makes it surprising, is not intrinsic, but wholly
relative to a preconception. Thunder is familiar to me, but it may
surprise me if it occur in January, and also totally out of my
preconceived order; but a friend who has neither heard, nor heard of,
thunder, will not be surprised by the sound in January, though he may be
startled, and may feel the novelty of the phenomenon. The novel, purely
as such, cannot surprise, for there is no field for the expectation
which is the foundation of surprise. The surprising is always contrary
to expectation, but the novel is simply unexpected, not in the range of
thought and conception in any manner. A novel experience is one which
has previously been unexperienced, and the feeling of novelty is the
feeling of it as such, while a surprising experience goes quite against
all we look for, and is often familiar and common enough, though
sometimes it is novel, as when the absolutely new experience and not
some familiar experience comes in place of the expected experience. If
the man to whom thunder is novel is awaiting merely the pattering of
rain, the crash of thunder will excite both feelings of surprise and
novelty. In this case he is surprised before he feels the novelty of the
surprising event.

A feeling for the novelty of an experience implies sense of experience
and experienceable, and is thus debarred from primitive consciousness,
which is merely a series of disconnected flashes, occurring a few times
at the critical moments in an organism’s life. It is probable that in
the origin of mind the first consciousness was the last, an entirely
unique and isolated phenomenon in the animal’s life, hence supremely
novel. However, at first, and undoubtedly also in later mind,
consciousness but slowly rises to the sense of novelty of consciousness
as such. After a long period of unconsciousness from any cause we do not
appreciate returning consciousness as _per se_ a comparatively novel
phenomenon. In early mind every experience is practically a new
experience, and so novel, but as there is no cognizance of experience in
any light, and least of all in this light which is rather remote from
immediate practicality, the feeling for novelty does not occur. Sense of
novelty implies a comparison of experience purely for its own sake,
certainly a very late acquirement. Thus in primitive mind, though all
experiences are uniformly fresh, yet they are not appreciated as such.
The feeling for novelty must always rest upon a considerable body of
experience unified by ego-sense and apprehended as such, that is,
consciousness of novelty implies both consciousness of consciousness and
self-consciousness. The consciousness of novelty is thus far from being
equivalent to novel consciousness. Whenever, even in advanced mind, a
novel consciousness occurs, we should be over hasty if we at once
concluded that feeling of novelty was also experienced.

The first step in life is to get an experience, to struggle into a
consciousness which may be immediately valuable, and which is at once
emotional and motor in its action; the second step is to compare and
identify the experience gained so as to ascertain its meaning for life
with greater certainty. Recognition thus comes early into play, but
while the sphere of the sense of the novel lies in that of the
unrecognised, it does not in any wise occupy the whole, for much that is
unrecognised still is far from conveying feeling of novelty, because
this feeling is, as we have said, far from being experienced on every
presentation of the novel. The novel is equivalent rather to the
unrecognisable. A dog may lose in a few months the power of recognising
its master, yet the master after such a lapse of time cannot be said to
awaken sense of novel. Though not recognised for master he is recognised
as one of many familiar objects, he is known to be a man, and that is as
far as the identification goes. The experience then is in reality not a
fresh one. Here is a new man but there is nothing novel in the
experience, much less is there a feeling of novelty. I doubt much if a
dog or any lower animal notices and appreciates pleasurably or painfully
the novel as such. The unrecognisable and unclassifiable presented to
them may agitate them in various ways, as contrast a horse and a
courageous dog on first seeing a locomotive, but there is no evidence of
real feeling of the novelty of the experience as such. The enjoyment of
the novel for its own sake is probably wholly confined to late human

It must, indeed, be granted that change from monotonous or confining
circumstances is appreciated and appreciated pleasurably by lower
animals, though they may not know enough to seek change for its own
sake. Animals certainly suffer from _ennui_, and enjoy variety within
certain limits, but change is not newness, and absolute change or
novelty in strict sense hardly appeals to them, that is, they do not
appreciate the novelty of a situation. The really novel disturbs them,
they do not desire it nor are pleased with it. It is only in fact in the
higher ranges of human mind that experience of any kind, novel or
various, comes to be sought for its own sake. To say, “this is a novel
sensation,” or “how novel and delightful,” and all similar expressions,
denotes a frame of mind which is artificial, that is, lies away from and
beyond the common course of psychism under natural selection. The
changefulness of experience and the novelty of an experience are in
reality two distinct elements. One who has been ill in bed for weeks
enjoys the change in sitting up in his arm chair, but there is no real
novelty or sense of novelty. Everything, we say, is novel and
interesting to the child, tiresome and a bore to the blasé man of the
world. The world is, in truth, fresh and new to the child, but the sense
of the novel _per se_ is very slowly developed, and the rarer the novel
becomes, the more keen our appreciation of it. Where all is novel, there
can be no sense of novelty, for this is purely a contrast type of
psychosis. The zest and eagerness of the child proceeds from radically
other sentiments than the feeling for novelty; it is absorbed in things
for themselves and what they directly give, and does not stop to reflect
and feel about the relations of experiences, and so feel the novel as
such. Further we note that pleasing novelties are far from being equally
pleasing as such. It may be as novel to carry a potato in my pocket as a
double eagle, but not equally pleasing. The real value of novelty for
emotion must always be carefully determined by subtracting accessory

With regard to the relation of novelty to pleasure and pain, the novel
and the sense of the novel is always in its inception under evolution by
natural selection unpleasant and painful. A novel experience is one
which can only originate in painful struggle, and the new is always _per
se_ distasteful to early mind, which is ever conservative in its
instincts and tendencies. A perfect life, biologically speaking, is one
which is perfectly adapted to its environment, and so goes through its
evolution with mechanically exact adjustment to circumstances; and the
novel would break in upon the unconscious rhythm which is here
perfected. Habituation becomes so iron fast that the novel, even when
distinctly pleasurable in itself, is resented, much less is the novel
sought for its own sake. However, so far as a novel experience may come
rather by way of regressiveness than progressiveness, it may delight us
by its novelty whenever the mind becomes capable of appreciating
novelty. Thus purely hereditary tendencies, which we do not accomplish
but which are accomplished in us during youth, as, for instance, the
sexual evolution, may charm, not only in themselves, but for their
novelty as well. But this experience which is not merely novel to the
individual as springing up spontaneously by _impetus_ from the past, but
which is novel for the race, and requires effort to assimilate, and so
is in the distinct line of higher evolution, as, the achieving a high
spiritual sentimentality in love; this, the real novel, is inevitably
and naturally painful. The first time the emotion of humility—a
comparatively recent evolution—was experienced by a human being was a
truly novel experience, though it is quite uncertain whether there was
with it either sense or sentiment of novelty.

If the novel and the novel experience—and these terms are practically
identical—are essentially painful, whence and how arises the peculiar
pleasure which we undeniably may experience in connection with the novel
appreciated as such? Must all such pleasure be placed to the account of
regressiveness? But pleasure of this kind is intrinsic in the act itself
and not for its novelty _per se_. There is a wide variety of experience
intrinsically either pleasurable or painful, which may be pleasurable to
us solely by reason of its novelty. I may enjoy the novel experience of
tasting a pomegranate, be the actual experience agreeable or
disagreeable, merely enjoying the novelty as such. What is this novelty,
why is it noticed, and why does it give occasion to pleasure or pain in
emotional form?

As we have already pointed out, the sense of the novel and emotion about
it cannot be said to arise with novel experiences in general. The novel
in the objective sense is the first occurrence of any given definite
kind of psychosis, as humility or pity, in the history of mind, and this
novelty is probably not at first appreciated.

Bain says that novelty is not an emotion, but “merely expresses the
superior force of all stimulants on being first applied.” But from the
point of view of psychic history the initial force of stimulants is
always very inferior and slight. For example, to taste and to
qualitatively distinguish tastes is an extremely slow growth in the
race, and by no means suddenly completed even in the offspring of the
most advanced individuals. Place a drop of wormwood extract on an
infant’s tongue and it may have a novel sensation and a disagreeable
one, as evidenced by the reaction, yet the real force of the sensation
is certainly quite inferior to that of a ten year old child in the given
case. The absolutely new impression is always slight, for mind is, in
the natural course of evolution, always slow at fully experiencing
things, it is by effort and by effort alone that it attains the several
orders of sensation and perception, and it is only by effort that they
are realized with greater and greater force and clearness. By the very
nature of psychic evolution as a progressive process toward helping
adjustability the novel exercises at the first but a slight reaction.
However, in the exigencies of existence the most wide awake, those most
susceptible to perceiving novelties and new circumstances and to being
suitably affected by them, have the advantage. Hence the apprehension,
interpretation, and application, of novelties is the path of progress
which finally culminates in the achievements of human invention. An
openness to the novel is thus of prime importance in a practical way,
though this is quite distinct from the pleasing sense of novelty.
However, the novel is not primarily attractive and interesting in and
for itself, but this must be accounted a late evolution in an artificial
period. The novel is at the first anything but charming. The absolutely
novel is never pleasant for its own sake.

It is only in a relative way that the objectively novel pleases, that
is, in the way of variety and change. Where overflowing mental energy by
reason of habituation finds no full and easy diverse activity the mind
is hampered and constrained. Thus youth in particular finds delight and
relief in new sights and sounds, in fresh experiences of all kinds.
Quickly wearied and exhausted in one channel and yet full of active
power, the mind springs rapidly from object to object along those lines
which ancestral experience has rendered the lines of least resistance,
thus especially in the plays and sports of childhood.

While the novel in this way as change pleases, yet there is no pleasing
sense of novelty. Sensations, sights, sounds, tastes, etc., please by
their novelty, there is a pleasure in the sensations not merely
intrinsic but relative to previous experiences, but the mind is not yet
capable of the emotion of novelty which belongs to reflective
consciousness. The child may be pleased by the novel, but is not
consciously charmed by the novelty. The sense of experience as novel,
and as such pleasing, belongs to a higher grade of consciousness than
the naïve direct consciousness of the child. Novelty consciously known,
appreciated, and sought for its own sake is a decidedly late evolution.
There is an emotion and emotion of pleasure which we may feel in view of
the novel _per se_. Not merely the new object becomes the stimulant of a
new and refreshing experience, but this experience being known as novel
by the reflecting consciousness, and contrasted with other experiences,
there comes therewith a peculiar ripple of pleasurable emotion, the
emotion of the novel. The first emotion of novelty is itself thereby a
novel consciousness which might be, to a very reflective self-conscious
mind, an object for another emotion of novelty. In touching upon the
emotion of novelty we have thus risen beyond the common course of
natural selection, to the point where experience values itself for its
own sake.

In contrast to the emotion of novelty is the emotion of familiarity.
This might be discussed in a strictly parallel way to our discussion of
the emotion of novelty. It is founded upon likeness, being the sentiment
of likeness. An absolute novelty, the perfectly new, is of course
imperceptible as such, and by the law of continuity cannot occur in
nature. Some correlation with past experience is required to make the
thing cognizable at all, as is also some measure of unlikeness to make
it distinguishable and so familiar. The emotion of familiarity is much
neglected by psychologists, yet it forms a more important and a larger
element in the pleasures of advanced mind than the emotion of novelty.
Many of the delights of home and domestic life are tinged by it. The
pleasing sense of familiarity is, of course, most felt in contrast after
some long experience of novelties, as when the traveller returns home
from a prolonged journey. Delight in the familiar for its own sake often
largely prompts to the revisiting old scenes and renewing old habits.
The emotions of novelty and familiarity have a constant contrasting play
in many men. The familiar which is painful in itself may yet, like the
novel painful in itself, be pleasurable. We often welcome the familiar
and novel purely for their own sake whatever be their actual
hedonalgic[C] content.

[Footnote C: This adjective, which I used before seeing Mr. Marshall’s
“algedonic,” more exactly expresses pleasure—pain quality.]

Noticed familiarity like novelty may be painful. The disgusting emotion
by which we may meet the unwelcome novelty, has its correlate in the
wearing sense of monotony from the regular return of the familiar even
though it be intrinsically pleasurable.

In the reflective emotions we have touched upon but a single group, the
novelty-familiarity, which is certainly a complex but interesting kind
of psychoses. In all this field we have rightly to separate mere
sensitiveness to likeness and unlikeness—a tolerably early
phenomenon—from sense of relatedness and unrelatedness of experiences in
and for themselves. Consciousness of experience as such is the mark of a
radically new type of consciousness, quite set off from the naïve
unreflecting consciousness under the primitive conditions of natural
selection and the struggle for existence. The significance of this, by
which experience rests purely upon itself and is for itself, leads into
a wide region. It is enough that we have instanced one of these later
emotions in contrast to the directly serviceable emotions which have
most concerned us in our present discussions, without inquiring closely
into its function. It is evident that in the ordinary course of
evolution the character of the situation as affecting life determines
the serviceable emotion, thus different kinds of harmful situations
determine fear, anger, hate, etc. If a situation is really interesting
for life, it ultimately will be both known and felt in the progress of
the struggle for existence just as surely as light, colour, sound, etc.,
are gradually appreciated. Hence we might predict that the novel
situation and the incongruous situation would receive some advantageous
cognitive and feeling response, and that even emotions of novelty,
familiarity, congruity, and incongruity, would arise, as well as the
feelings for these things, if this were useful; that is, experience may
ultimately consciously react upon itself in these ways as well as
directly sense mere objects. Now the pleasure in novelty for its own
sake, while not consciously in the region of natural selection, yet
indirectly may be favoured by it as propædeutic to progressiveness. It
would, indeed, from one standpoint seem possible to deduce according to
the law of serviceability the whole course of experience past, present
and future, and we might as assuredly predict particular feelings as we
may predict the evolution of the wing or the hoof or the four-ventricled
heart in the course of a physical biologic evolution. The psychic
biologic evolution is to a certain point as strictly interpretable by
the principle of advantageous natural selection as the physical, for the
two are really co-ordinated. In the near future of psychology every
psychosis in its origin and development will be as clearly traceable as
any purely physiological organ, though this can never be accomplished in
the purely objective manner, but will require a subjective manipulation
which is now quite beyond us.

                              CHAPTER XII
                        _RETROSPECTIVE EMOTION_

Brown divided emotions into retrospective and prospective, but such a
classification has no basis in a general biological view nor yet in a
special analysis of the particular phenomena. It is evident that the two
great classes of emotion from the point of view of struggle for
existence will be response to injurer and to benefactor. These are the
two prime qualities in things for which emotional notice is most needed
as a service to life, and hence the broad and fundamental division of
emotion must always be into that which is response to the harmful and
that which is response to the beneficial. Here only is the great and
constant distinction in the nature of emotions. Prospect and retrospect
are equally meaningless in themselves considered. From a merely _a
priori_ biologic point of view we must, then, pronounce it quite
unlikely that the time-sense should fundamentally differentiate emotion,
but we should expect that the prime division would be with respect to
cognised injury or benefit.

That time-sense is not a grand principle of division we also see plainly
when we examine particular emotions. Thus, in the case of anger, while
we can say at once that this is, in all its forms, repulse to injury,
can we claim it is either prospective or retrospective emotion? The
truth is, the thought of injury done, doing, or to be done, equally
wakens anger in choleric individuals. The man who harmed me yesterday
excites my anger, and so does the man whom I perceive to be now injuring
me or about to injure me. The quality of the emotion is identically the
same whether the object be considered as in past, present, or future.
Even what seems to be a purely temporal emotion, like hope, which is
usually regarded as wholly prospective, may yet have other temporal
aspects. Thus, we sometimes say, “I hope it was not so,” where hope is
obviously retrospective, or more strictly prospective-retrospective,
having reference to expectation with desire that the event will turn out
not to have happened.

But it may be said that, as emotion rests upon representation, the
proper classification of the emotions will depend upon the divisions of
representation which are essentially determined by the time-sense as
representation of past or future. Representation with sense of
representation implies a cognition of the thing as represented merely,
and so as non-existent to present actual sensing, as something having
been, or to be, sensed. The emotion arises thus on cognition of the
experienceable, and includes always some dim impression of potency of
object for harm or benefit at some time. However, though this may be the
case, it is plain that it makes no radical distinction in emotion. If a
man threatens me with some injury, this fires my rage, which is greatly
increased if I catch him in the act of committing the injury threatened,
or find that he has committed the evil deed. Change in time-sense may
thus bring change in intensity of some emotions, but it does not
determine quality of emotion. The prime factor as to kind of emotion is
always, not any sense of time, but the personal value of the event,
which may or may not receive a definite time determination. Indeed, a
form of representation, before any sense of experience as merely
subjective phenomenon is attained, is a prominent feature in the direct
naïve experience which constitutes by far the greater bulk in the total
existent consciousness. Before experience is aware of itself and of the
experienceable there is a certain purely subjective mirroring of that
which is not present to sense, but has been, _i.e._, there is a
re-occurrence in consciousness which has the subjective force of
reality; though the objective actuality is lacking, such re-occurrence
by association without the actual presence of the object stands,
however, for reality to the mind experiencing—it is a direct intuition;
the object, though unreal, is perfectly real to consciousness, and
conveys no meaning, and so is not a basis for emotion. Yet in the higher
representation with a sense of experience as integral element, the
representation is sometimes practically timeless, though surcharged with
emotion tendency. The highest objects which the mind represents have
little time quality, and all the nobler sentiments, as love of truth,
justice, etc., exist with little or no reference to time. So also in the
very earliest representation, the object is seen in its feeling
value—emotion basis—as soon as it is perceived as object; but this is as
an immediate subjective realizing in which time-sense plays very little
part. The conscious interpretation of past and future as a conscious
connecting of the two is certainly not a primitive function. The time
form is, then, on the whole, merely incidental in emotion, and is by no
means a fundamental principle determining classification.

Yet, though we must reject time as a cardinal principle of division in
emotion, still we must acknowledge that the term retrospective emotion
denotes a real group of mental phenomena, including revenge, regret,
remorse, and kindred forms, which are marked as feeling for the past
merely as past. However, pure retrospection is rare and late. The past
does not for primitive mind stand by itself as something to be dwelt
upon, to be thought about, to be moved by, and stirred to action. The
immediate present absorbs the mind, and the past interests and excites
only so far as bearing directly on the present. And so it is that the
child lives in the present, the youth and man in the future, the old man
in the past; and this denotes the relatively late appearance of pure
retrospection and of emotion founded thereon. Emotion is first merely
spectant, then prospective, then retrospective. However, when we say an
emotion is concerned solely with the present in the very young, we mean,
of course, the immediately prospective—that which has relation to but
one sense and by association rouses emotion, as an apple, seen or
handled by a child, awakens emotion, desire to taste. Where sense
consciousness is not multiform, but single and uniform, as, doubtless,
in very low organisms, there is no opportunity for any emotion, for
there is no interpretation power. But the intensification of some one
sense connection already attained may be a basis for emotion which we
may loosely call emotion spectant, as when the greedy child eagerly
eating an apple desires a larger bite, sweeter portion, etc.
However,—though it has little classification value,—emotion can be only
prospective or retrospective; and this is, of course, implied in its
basis—representation. Emotion by its very nature must be a looking
forward, or a looking backward, or both. As a feeling about, and not a
direct feeling, this is obviously its unvariable cognitive content. The
immediate and actual realization may be direct feeling or sensation, but
it is never in itself emotion. Emotion is always over something, an
experience of experience, and cannot thus be simple content. It is thus
a consciously idealizing mode as distinguished from direct realization
which is wholly self-contained.

One of the most important and interesting retrospective emotions is
revenge. The cardinal idea in revenge is returning evil for evil. Not
only must there be a paying back for past injury, but there must be an
equivalence, eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth; and the revengeful
emotion is the meting out such purely retributive action. Exact return
becomes the basis of a general usage in animal and human societies.
Justice, law, and punishment rest upon the idea of inflicting duplicate
or equivalent injury for injury received. Administrative justice is the
specialization of revenge in the hands of a few members of a community,
a social differentiation by which individuals in general secure their
revenges at great economy by proxy. Further, the revengeful emotion is a
smouldering hate which vents itself only some time after the immediate
occasion. This is not the flush of anger which prompts to vigorous
offensive action upon the injurer at the very moment of harm perceived,
and it does not appear as stimulant to immediate self-conservative
activities, but is simply the spirit of getting even for relatively long
past injury.

What, now, is the function of revenge as a life factor? It surely does
not mend my injury that I do another harm solely because he has some
time harmed me, and the whole impulse might seem a pure waste of energy.
But under natural selection revenge must arise in serviceability of some
sort; and it is obvious that while revenge is of no use in mending the
past, it yet has a large value with reference to future possible injury.
Yet revenge is undeniably without conscious meaning for present or
future; it is merely the spirit and determination to get even, and so
its deterrent function is unconsciously attained. A dwelling in thought
on the past _per se_, a feeling about it and acting on it, while it
cannot help life directly, has a large value in its ultimate effect upon
enemies. He who never forgets injury, and for whom by-gones are never
by-gones, who never fails to return injury for injury, is feared and is
less likely to be injured. Junker, the African traveller, remarks of the
pygmies, “They are much feared for their revengeful spirit.” Thus, other
things being equal, the most revengeful are the most successful in the
struggle for self-conservation and self-furtherance. Though by itself
considered irrational and foolish to inflict return injuries upon an
injurer long after the immediate occasion, yet its deterrent effect is
very great with reference to other assailants. Thus, pure retrospection
may have unconsciously prospective value, or sometimes revenge may be
really retrospective-prospective, as when one says, “I will fix him so
he will not do that again.” Here function is consciously known, but in
instinctive revenge there is no such foresight, and, in general, utility
is no consideration with the revenger, whose mind is bent rather on
doing great harm for its own sake to his enemy rather than benefiting
himself. It is always the conscious or unconscious significance for the
future that justifies revenge in the natural course of events; while it
is no remedy for my hurt, if some one has put out my eye, to put out his
in return, yet this revenge act, and so the feeling which prompts it, is
of highest prospective value with reference to future possible enemies.
Every one will know that I cannot be harmed with impunity. Despoil or
injure the revengeful in any way and you inevitably suffer for it sooner
or later, and so revenge acts as a protective psychical variation of
high value. On the whole the revengeful is less likely than others to be
molested and injured, and thus has a manifest advantage in the struggle
for existence. Revenge has, then, also rightfully its own subjective
sanction, a pleasure reaction, for revenge is, indeed, “sweet.”

Revenge is apparently found in a considerable range in the animal
kingdom, and seems universal in the _genus homo_. However, we cannot
infallibly conclude from certain actions that revengeful emotion is
present, and especially is this so in the case of animals. Thus, in the
well-known instance of the elephant, who, observing a man passing by who
had greatly annoyed him years before, suddenly drenched him with dirty
water, we are not necessarily to suppose that this elephant was prompted
by the emotion of revenge; although this may have been the case, we are
not perfectly sure how far the elephant did the act merely as recompense
for what the man had done, or how far the sight of the injurer, and so
one likely to injure, roused to simple anger and defence against the
threatening harmful. Many acts which seem like revenge are quite likely
to be common defence or offence, are done with reference to what the
object is and will be as injurious, based upon knowledge of the past,
and not as merely retrospective retributive acts. Memory for injuries
received is strong in many animals; that which has harmed is often
recognised after many years as the harmful, and appropriate simple
emotion, not revenge, is manifested. Rage, rather than revenge, is the
usual emotion among lower animals in special instances where revenge
might seem called for; and thus it is more likely that the elephant
should rage and hate rather than have pure revenge as in the case

However, somewhere rather late in sub-human psychism revengeful emotion
certainly arose as an advantageous variation, and it grew in strength
and prominence for many ages of psychic progress. At length it
culminated, and began its decline with the marked increase of
co-operative sociality, with which it must greatly interfere. Reprisal
and counter-reprisal, vendetta, feud, is opposed to that social union
which is strength; and so we see that tribes and nations in which the
spirit of personal revenge has been a dominant trait have been left
behind in the march of progress. Revengefulness, at least in the form of
retributive personal violence for injuries done, is, in a highly
civilized community, entirely superseded by the machinery of law.
Instead of slaying a brother’s murderer I call upon the law to execute
justice and retribution, and I bring certain designated ones among my
fellows to secure my revenge. Where a man takes the law in his own
hands, and kills or injures the violator of his home or the slayer of
his nearest kin, he recedes to the lower unsocial plane from which
civilization has arisen. Thus revengefulness, in certain forms at least,
has become in the highest human communities a disadvantageous variation,
and is gradually being eliminated. This negative elimination of revenge
is also greatly hastened by the progress of certain ethical and
Christian conceptions by which a new and opposite law of conduct is
enforced, namely, the returning good for evil.

One of the most interesting and most retrospective of emotions is
sorrow. Sorrow, grief and regret are wholly regardful of the past, are
pains at the past. They are purely subjective or “mental” pains at the
past, and in no wise pains from the past; they are not pains recurrent
from past pains, but purely a painful emotion at the representation of
past pain. Thus, a man says, “I did it to my own harm and hurt, and I
have always been sorry I did it.” Here the sorrow-pain is evidently
quite distinct from the direct pain of the injury; pain for the harm
done is one thing, and pain from the harm done is another. I hurt
myself, and I not only have this pain, but, being sorry that I did it, I
have this new emotional pain added. Sorrow as painful emotion for the
past is thus plainly unique and peculiar. To feel sorry over what has
happened is a mode of feeling altogether different from feeling proud of
it, angry at it, etc., and we may reasonably regard sorrow as a distinct
_genus_ of retrospective emotion. What, now, is the nature and function
of this special emotion reaction?

We have to consider here only that simple primitive sorrow which is a
painful emotion at regarding personal loss or failure. Such simple
sorrow we see in the child who cries over spilled milk, in the man who
expresses deep regret at the careless misstep by which he broke his leg.
In this emotional reaction at the injurious the harmful is neither
escaped nor repelled, as through fear and anger; the feeling disturbance
is comparatively passive and purely reflective, and is not a spur to
some immediate advantageous defensive or offensive activity. In sorrow
we are pained emotionally at the trouble which has come upon us through
our own agency or otherwise, but we do not struggle from it or against
it, but there is purely helpless retrospection. Harm and loss which
might provoke in one nature to fear or anger, in another lead only to
inactive sorrow.

The cognition form in sorrow means always sense of _personal_ loss. I
may fear a thing, or I may be angry at a thing, but I can be sorry only
for a person. I do not feel sorry for a broken chair, though I may feel
sorry for having broken it. This view of one’s own personal agency in
causing harm to one’s self and harm to others is very prominent in a
large range of sorrow. In viewing any action which determined some evil,
I say, “I am sorry I did it.” This is, however, a later mode of the
emotion, which at the first cannot take account of any agency, but is
simply an acute feeling of distress at the injury received. Thus the one
who grieves over the spilled milk regards, not his own agency, but only
his loss; he is sorry, not that he spilled the milk, but that his milk
was spilled. Yet the sense of personal agency certainly forms a great
part in much sorrow, and tends to intensify it. I may grieve over any
harm that has come upon me, but my grief is intensified as I remember my
own agency in bringing it about. I may feel sorry over the loss of my
goods by fire, but if I lose them by my own careless act, my sorrow is
redoubled. Strictly speaking, perhaps, the sorrows are distinct, I feel
sorry for having done it and I am sorry at it done; yet they may be said
to constitute a single psychic state. Sense of our own agency, however,
in having produced harm to self is as likely to produce anger at self or
even fear of self. Hence our intensest and purest sorrows are apt to be
those occasioned by considering injuries occasioned by elemental forces.
That harm which we did not help because we could not, the inevitable
injury, this excites a keen regret and deep mourning.

The pain in sorrow is as peculiar, searching, unanalyzable and
undescribable as other simple emotion pains, and only conceivable
through realization. This sinking, helpless pain over what has happened
is clearly distinct from the sensation order of pains, and is in no wise
a reflection from them. The pain I have at remembrance of some great
loss which has befallen me is certainly very distinct from that which
came from the loss itself.

What part now does sorrow play as a psychic life-function, and how
explain it on the general principle of natural selection? At first
sight, sorrow or grief over the past seems utterly valueless, seems to
be mental energy thrown away. The past is irretrievable, of what use
then is any grief? Is not all regret vain? To deplore its loss does not
tend to restore a lost arm, and it is of no use crying over spilled
milk. Indeed, he who bewails spilled milk has not only the actual loss
but the ideal pain about the loss. He who grieves suffers doubly. But
while it is true that sorrow for what has happened cannot alter the
occurrence, yet it has a permanent salutary effect on the one who
sorrows to give more caution for the future. The child will carry the
pitcher of milk the more carefully next time by the more he has grieved
over the past occurrence. By increasing sensitiveness and capacity for
sorrow experience is strengthened, deepened, and completely adjusted to
environment. Shallow and volatile natures, who take all loss and harm
easily, and even gaily, have little strength, and attain no great and
permanent growth. But with most, when the object of strong desire is
suddenly lost, not only will there be a disappearance of the positive
feeling about it, but an actual _minus_ or negative state will be
generated, a reaction mode we term grief. By this grief the chief
lessons of all higher experience are made possible. Grief is not a
pathological phenomenon in mind, but in its place thoroughly normal and
useful. Indeed, if under certain circumstances grief did not appear,
mind would be proved very crude, obtuse, or diseased. He who never feels
sad about what has happened, is not of a progressive or highly advanced
type. If one does not feel sorry for his past errors and hurtful
actions, he plainly has so much the less motive force to higher action
for the future. If sorrow had never entered the world of mind, if the
whole corrective for injurious actions or want of action lay wholly in
the immediate pain resulting or in the direct simple emotions like fear
and anger, a most potent factor in psychic progress would be lacking.
The possibility of going wrong, _i.e._, literally aside, and
contrariwise to one’s own interests, is implied in the struggle for
existence. The next best thing to the impossible _status_ of being
unable to do wrong, is to have the capacity of feeling for the wrong,
that is, of experiencing grief. Sorrow is thus a corrective of the
highest importance in the history of experience. The slips, willed and
unwilled, from the narrow path of upward evolution are of necessity
many; but a man is, on the whole, best doing the largest part in the
evolution scheme in which he finds himself, who both knows the wrong as
such, and is sorry for it, whether in the primitive selfish mode, or
better still, on the higher ethical and religious grounds. The greatest
and most efficient minds are those who have felt most keenly for their
errors, faults, and sins.

As to the origin of grief, we may say with confidence that it is
tolerably late, and certainly subsequent to anger and hate and like
reactions. Under certain circumstances sorrow must be accounted a more
favourable reaction than these. Rage is certainly impotent and useless
on many occasions of recalled injury, and rage is besides a very intense
emotion and expensive of energy. The general law in the development of
emotion is toward milder, more economical, and more permanent forms, and
then it is that sorrow must at some time have originated under the
demands of life, and been preserved and developed under natural
selection. Sorrow most probably originated as supplanting rage at the
view or remembrance of injury done. In young children we often see rage
mingled with the first manifestation of grief, and but slowly is the
rage eliminated and pure grief attained. Sorrow exercises its function
where rage is useless. The child cries over spilled milk partly from
rage, partly from grief, but such mishaps will tend more and more to be
attended by grief only, as the better and more economical reaction.
Further, in a certain range of cases, sorrow in its manifestations
serves to appease revenger, and sincere regret, unmistakably expressed,
often saves the wrong-doer an equivalent harm. This form of sorrow
function is distinctly cultivated in the education of children where
they are taught to feel sorry for faults if they would be forgiven and
escape punishment.

Grief in its origin and its earlier occurrence is not the spontaneous
and almost irresistible impulse of our adult human experience, but, like
all emotion and all progressive psychism, is by effort of will. That is,
we must suppose that grief has its origin in some such _nisus_ as a
child exhibits when he is taught to be sorry for something he has done.
Hence it is only gradually and with the lapse of many generations after
its origin that sorrow becomes hereditary and spontaneous. At first
sorrow was a distinct attainment, rarely and but occasionally reached by
any individual, and it is comparatively late in psychic history that it
becomes a permanent and innate power. Sorrow also very gradually widens
its sphere. At first purely selfish, a retrospective reaction at one’s
own hurt, it becomes at length, through sociality and its concurrent
advantages, altruistic; sorrow is felt for others and the springs of
sympathy and pity are developed. That this altruism is very late
development is obvious, in that it has still to be taught even among the
most advanced of the human race to their children. The child is taught
to feel sorry for the cat he has hurt, for the blind man, for the
cripple. And we must conclude that at one time in psychic history
egoistic sorrow was likewise at the stage of development at which we now
see altruistic, and we may suppose that in the far future the altruistic
may come to the present _status_ of the egoistic sorrow. However, for
both there is an indefinite field for expansion, for refinement of
sensibility, and for readiness and appropriateness of manifestation.
Sorrow also will develop more and more on ethical and religious grounds.
Remorse arises and develops; and also the “godly sorrow for sin.” We
learn to feel, not merely sorry over the past as affecting our
disadvantage, but to feel sorry conscientiously as our deeds or those of
others conflict with the law of right or with the law of God. Those who
have no God-consciousness, and so no feeling about their action in the
sight of God, no sense of sinfulness, have yet often acute moral sense
and feelings. However, the origin and function of the moral and
religious sense in the light of natural selection is a wide subject
which can only be alluded to here; suffice it to say that sorrow is
thereby lifted to a peculiar and new plane of self-contained
spirituality. That is, the bearing of it is often without relation to
physical life-function, and even adverse thereto, and throughout has its
value and sanction in itself alone.

One of the deepest and most significant of late forms of sorrow is that
for the dead, and its importance is obvious from the fact that a word is
especially coined to denote its expression, namely, mourning. Nothing
can be more useless than mourning for the dead as far as the individual
object is concerned; the most poignant sorrow cannot in anywise tend to
reanimate the corpse. However, it plainly serves as an index to the
value put upon life, and so in general has a most powerful effect on
conservation and upbuilding of life. Other things being equal,
sensitiveness to this form of sorrow measures accurately possibly
self-conservative effort or effort for others’ conservation, which in a
state of sociality, is equivalent in value to one’s self. The lives for
which there is the most mourning and real sorrow when death comes are
the most valuable to the community, and for the conserving of which the
utmost combined effort would be extended. Where life has little value
attached to it, sorrow is slight and mourning short. As compared with
the savage state, loss and injury to life is infinitely more respected
in the great centres of modern civilization—the _nuclei_ of progress. It
is because we feel strongly for the safety of friends and relatives that
we employ the best devices to insure their protection from injury and
death. One who has sorrowed most deeply over the death of a friend
caused by his own careless handling of a gun, will for the future be
much more careful for himself and others. To be sure we sorrow deeply
because we place a high estimate upon the life rather than place high
estimate because we sorrow greatly; but if there were no sorrow
reaction, there would be no emotion basis for the future caution and
care, and it affects our general estimate of life. Thus there is ever a
cumulative emotional development.

Perhaps the latest developed form of sorrow is the feeling of sadness
which comes over one in reflecting upon pain as a universal fact of
existence. The pessimistic mood, with its converse, the optimistic, as
based on philosophic generalization, is certainly extremely late. Pain
at pain in general, pleasure at pleasure as a purely general fact, are
equally remote from primitive modes, and mark culminating phases. While,
perhaps, there is a certain justification and value in being saddened by
the spectacle of universal pain, yet a gravity rather than a despondency
is its proper measure. Pain, punitive and premonitory, plays, as we have
already noted more than once in our discussions, a most beneficent and
essential part in the struggle for existence and in all the higher
struggle. It is a necessary and salutary phenomenon, involved in the
very nature of evolution by struggle; hence he who impugns pain and is
offended at it, really impugns the psychic nature of things and desires
with Schopenhauer the annihilation of will. As a matter of fact the
extreme pessimistic spirit is more destructive to progress than even the
most buoyant optimism, in that it nips all earnest and forceful activity
in the bud. A foolishly happy-go-lucky activity is better than a
paralysis of effort through conviction of its inherent painfulness and
ultimate inutility. The scientific evidence, so far as we can now read
it, points decisively to the belief that pain-will activity, an intense
struggle, is the earliest mind, and the condition of its birth has been
the law of its development, and for aught that we can see, ever will be.
Into this we are born, and it is as foolish to run counter to it as to
the law of gravitation. A philosophy which runs counter to reality must
either build a new reality or subside; but it is most certainly to be
doubted whether the philosophic spirit ever has or ever will determine a
general innovation in psychic evolution. But we cannot do more than
merely advert to these large questions here.

With reference to the development of sorrow it is an obvious remark that
much which causes grief in the earlier stages of mental growth ceases to
have that effect with maturer experience. Thus the man may not notice,
or may laugh at, or may feel irritation at occasions which in his early
life would have wakened grief. On the contrary, much that seems grievous
to the old is not so regarded by the young. In general, grief tends to
become less frequent and paroxysmal, but more profound and lasting with
the growth of mind.

As to the kinds of retrospective emotion the largest division is, of
course, into the painful and pleasurable. We have touched only on some
of the painful, but each painful emotion has its analogous pleasurable
emotion. We have used the terms sorrow and grief as synonyms. If we
should make a distinction, it would be to put sadness or sorrow in
antithesis to happiness, and grief to joy; that is, sorrow proceeds from
outward circumstances, grief from subjective conditions. However,
popular usage is not firm on this point. Regret is a mild sorrow.
Remorse is the ethical side of sorrow. Resignation is a very late phase
of emotion related to sorrow. A person says, My child was crushed in the
accident, yet I do not grieve, but am quite resigned. Here certainly is
a new mode of feeling about past harm, and it is a mode as far above
sorrow proper as sorrow is above anger in the evolutionary scale. We do
not lament or weep over the past, but there is self-conscious,
self-constrained sinking of the will, and a composure which is not
apathy, but a gentle emotion wave. Nor is there a callousness; one is
not hardened, but softened, and made the more sensitive. The emotion of
resignation is thus cultivated and to be cultivated, and is yet in the
volition stage which marks the early form of all emotions. Even in the
highest human types resignation does not come, it must be brought; the
instinctive impulse upon contemplating past personal evil is toward
sorrow or anger and revenge, which must be checked, and resignation
directly willed and assumed as the proper emotion. Resignation, then, as
a growing point in psychic evolution, a distinct attainment as frame of
mind, is generally and rightly accounted a virtue. At present, then, it
seems the culmination of retrospective emotion with regard to past
personal injuries, and it exercises and will more and more exercise a
most important function in human psychic development.

                              CHAPTER XIII

The lowest organisms come in contact with things, have objective
relations of contact, but it is quite unlikely that the earliest psychic
life feels contacts, really touches things. From the objective commerce
with things pleasures and pains are realized, but object is unsensed and
unknown. The simplest marine forms are incessantly feeding at hazard at
the prompting of a subjective lack-pain. That the lowest life is born
into a nutritive medium and that at birth many later organisms are
incased or in direct connection with nutritive material, shows that at
the very beginning psychic life is not needed as discriminatory, but as
simple subjective pain and pleasure moving to undirected activities.
However, such perfect environment being rare and temporary, in its blind
and senseless activity the organism is often trying to assimilate the
unassimilable, or the harmful, and is often appropriating when there is
no substance present. It would obviously be of great advantage if it
could touch its food, have sensation as guide to activity. Thus
realization of a very limited world of things arises in touch achieved
during the feeding act. That which satisfies and gives pleasure is by
touch discriminated from that which does not give these results.
Discrimination of soft and hard is probably the earliest touch
impression. The soft thing is manipulated in the feeding act as edible.
But a great step is made when psychical effect of the edible is not only
comprehended through touch in direct connection with the assimilatory
act, but antecedently thereto. The animal establishes a connection
between the feeling the soft thing and pleasure experience in its
struggling activities. It touches more and more readily what it is
assimilating, and thence rejects more easily and promptly the injurious.
In appropriative effort with pleasure experience it feels the thing,
cognizes in most general way its physical quality. As sensitiveness
increases through struggle and natural selection the assimilatory
attempt will be more and more quickly met by the touch sensation, until
touch ultimately becomes precedent and actually directive to food.
Recognition, in a far more emphatic way than before, becomes added to
cognition; the thing is not merely known in its bare objectivity, but is
recognised, identified, and has a meaning. Touch must give, not only the
thing, but the thing as potent for some quality not now being
appreciated, though formerly appreciated _pari passu_ with the touching.
The interpretative act comes through the association gradually
established in past experiences, so that the edible is no longer
fortuitously hit upon, but touch precedes active effort at
appropriation, and suggests by itself edibility or non-edibility. Thus
is action greatly economized and made certain. Definite feelers,
extending from the body, and sometimes quite long, are evolved, and the
first period in the history of knowledge, the age of touch, is

It is here when touch involves representation and becomes a sign of
something, _e.g._, edible thing, that desire and other simple emotions
originate. A possibility of pleasurable experience being recognised, it
is necessary, if useful action would follow, that emotion springs up as
incentive, and this emotion we term desire. Hunger drives, but desire
draws, and as reinforcement and guide to the blind hunger impulse desire
has a large function. A mere indifferent recognition, the pleasurable
foreseen but not felt about, would be entirely unserviceable. If we do
not desire the pleasurable and beneficial, we do not act for it. And
originally, at least, perception of the good always stirred desire; and
desire was awakened in no other way; for in the course of natural
evolution, knowledge and emotions have alike to be interpreted in their
origin and meaning with reference to advantageous action, this alone
being the arena of natural selection. A meaningless knowledge and a
self-contained emotion or feeling, are entirely contrary to the trend of
evolution on the basis we have assumed. Moreover, through ages of
activity the tendency to desire the good and the good only becomes so
ingrained that I think it hardly fails, even in the highest and latest
minds. The most hyper-conscious man, once convinced that something will
give him pleasant experience, _so long_ and _so far_ as this feeling is
_dominant_ in mind will have incipient desire.

On this long disputed question of the relation of desire to the good or
pleasurable, evolutionary psychology, which views mind as serving life,
as interpreting things with reference to their serviceability and so
implied pleasurability, always bases desire in its origin and growth on
pleasure. But is this general point of view borne out by the facts of
mind? A typical example of common desire is this: At a fair I observe a
toboggan chute and say to my companion, “That must be sport, how would
you like to try it?” The appeal to “sport” awakens desire in my comrade
and he says, “Let’s try it.” We test its pleasurability, and, enjoying
it, desire to go again. It is evident that desire arises not on the mere
image of actualization as such, the idea of sliding, but on conception
of its pleasure quality. Whenever by our own experience or by the
testimony of others we are assured of a good thing to be experienced we
straightway desire it.

This, it may be said, is all very true for a certain class of desires,
but the principle does not apply in the higher desires like the desire
for knowledge. But knowledge originates only as serviceable, and
primarily only serviceable knowledges are desired. We desire knowledge
only so far as it is worth having, and it may be that I esteem all
knowledge as worth something and so desirable. However, some knowledges
are worth nothing and are never desired. Who wants to know the exact
measurements of the pebbles on the road, or how many hairs are on the
mane of his neighbour’s pony, or the names of all the inhabitants of
Pekin? But if one thinks it would be any satisfaction to know such
facts, he may desire to know them. The insatiable curiosity of children
which seeks to know all such irrelevant facts hardly comes under the
category of desire, but is rather instinctive hereditary impulse. It has
no clear idea of a thing to be known and a desire to know it, but is
only a spontaneous outburst of knowing activity which is inbred and
comes from ancestral integration. There is a sensing and perceiving
activity which is very intense at the questioning age, but which hardly
implies the desire to know. The incessant “What’s this?” “What’s that?”
is merely outcome of an instinctive impulsion to interpret environment;
it is not significant of full-formed desire, there is no idea of thing
to be known, of an actualization to be accomplished.

If a man desires knowledge, not for his own sake, but for its own sake,
desire as such really ceases, it merges into love and devotion, which
are disinterested and clearly distinct as mental modes from desire.
Desire is not a sentiment; and it does not properly include all impulse
to actualization. For instance, the feeling for actualization merely as
such, for achievement of ideal _per se_, is beyond the biologic stage of
consciousness wherein desire has its chief function. The attainment of
end merely for the sake of the end must be distinguished from
actualizing an image for the pleasure of actualization, which thus has
desire element. We know that the image of realization may act as end by
compulsion, as in feeling of duty, which is thus marked off from desire
as impulsion. Thus desire is but one mode of teleological emotion. But
desire is emotion at unrealized good and not at unrealization in

Spinoza’s _dictum_, followed by Volkmann, that we do not desire a thing
because we deem it good, but we deem it good because we desire it, is
not borne out by the commonest facts. A peddler shows me an apple, but I
do not desire it and then deem it good, but I examine it, and if it
seems good I may desire and buy it, but if bad, I have aversion, and
return it. My desire thus depends altogether upon whether or not I deem
the apple good, and not my deeming it good upon my desire. If I see any
one desiring anything I at once judge that he first thought it good or
he would not have desired it. All the excitation of desire is by
representation of the good. The merchant tempts you by exhibiting his
_goods_, the child with candy offers it to you crying, “good! good!” the
moralist proclaims, “do this and thou shalt live.” The cause of desire,
which for weal or woe plays such a large part in almost all psychism, is
always by imaging the good. The bait and the reward as excitants of
desire are most common; a mere suggestion of a representation without
implication of its goodliness in realization does not excite desire.
Thus some one, speaking of a totally unknown town, asks, “How would you
like to live in Perry?” and we answer, “Is it a pleasant town?” A mere
suggestion of change of abode starts desire only when there is already
displeasure with present residence, and so desire for release as a good;
but image of actualization considered solely by itself is desireless.
And if to excite desire we offer the good or pleasurable, to extinguish
desire we offer the bad and painful. I desire a fair looking apple, but
cutting it and finding it wormy and rotten, desire flees. I extinguish
the desire of a child for eating some noxious substance by assuring it
of the bad taste and nauseating effect. Both positively and negatively
then, common sense finds the basis, not of the good in desire, but of
desire in the good. The facts in both exciting and extinguishing desire
point to this conclusion.

Spinoza (_Ethics_ iii., Prop ix.) defines desire as “appetite with
consciousness thereof.” But to be aware of being hungry is but the first
step toward desire. In the midst of my daily occupations I become aware
of pain, then of uneasiness, then of hunger, whereupon I may desire
food, which desire includes as distinct elements: (1) idea of eating as
act or movement; (2) idea of the thing eaten as _food_, a something
satisfying; affording relief, and so a good; (3) thereupon the emotion
wave of longing, the essential point in desire. This is, of course,
followed by volition, I act to realize, I go to a restaurant. When
Höffding (_Psychology_, p. 323) says that the impulse in hunger “has
reference primarily to the food, not to the feeling of pleasure in its
consumption,” he forgets that “food” is a something satisfying, and only
thus is desired. Object is not desired as object, but for its value in

We must also touch upon a certain class of experiences which have been
adduced as showing a desire not based upon the idea of the pleasure.
Take the example of a man in _ennui_ who takes to playing tennis as a
relief, but with no desire of being victorious. Engaging in the game he
finds that “this desire which does not exist at first is stimulated to
considerable intensity by the competition itself; and in proportion as
it is thus stimulated both the mere contest becomes more pleasurable,
and the victory, which was originally indifferent, comes to afford a
keen enjoyment.” (Sidgwick, _Methods of Ethics_, p. 46.) But does the
desire really come from some idea of pleasure? The player volleys a ball
successfully against his opponent, and thereby receiving a thrill of
pleasure desire awakes to beat. “Wouldn’t I like to beat him? I would
enjoy nothing better.” This desire foresees the pleasure of triumph. If
he gets no pleasure from returning the ball successfully he does not
desire success; but if unanticipated pleasure comes up in beating his
opponent, as soon as he recognises this pleasure he desires to continue
and complete it. This pleasure in succeeding in competitive activity,
extremely old and integrated from all the struggle of existence, springs
up spontaneously. There may also be added pleasure from activity and
pleasure from skill which will make the game very interesting, _i.e._,
full of desire and other emotions.

Professor Sidgwick allows that pleasure may be the cause of desire, but
not its object. But surely if I cognize pleasure coming from an act, I
attach this pleasure to it in representation; if I take pleasure from
returning a tennis ball and then represent a coming opportunity to
return the ball I also represent its pleasurability. Pleasure or pain
connected with acts is connected by association with representation of
the acts, the pleasure-pain tone penetrates the representation, and only
thus does actualization of an image become object of desire. If it is
possible to conceive an activity indifferent—which may be doubted—we
should have no emotion about it. But we have already sufficiently
emphasized how the perceived experience quality of things determines
desire and all emotion.

Professor Sidgwick’s remark that the pleasurableness of the contest is
“in proportion” (_Ibid_., p. 46) to the desire, _i.e._, that the
pleasure results from the desire rather than desire from the pleasure,
also shows defective analysis. If I desire intensely to beat, and am on
the losing side, I am greatly pained, for desire is always in itself
painful. In any case desire is pleasurable only so far as it is being
satisfied, which, of course, means only so far as desire is being
extinguished. It is not the increasing desire intensity, but the
decreasing, that gives pleasure, _i.e._, desire is negatively related to
pleasure. Intense desire may act as excitement-pleasure, but this does
not bear on the nature of desire.

Another objection that has been brought up against pleasure as desire
basis is that “pleasures are diminished by repetition, whilst habits are
strengthened by it; if the intensity of desire therefore were
proportioned to the ‘pleasure value’ of its gratification, the desire
for renewed gratification should diminish as this pleasure grows less,
but if the present pain of restraint from action determines the
intensity of desire, this should increase as the action becomes
habitual.” (James Ward in _Encyclopædia Britannica_, vol. xx., p. 79.)

But pleasure and so also desire often increases with repetition. One who
tastes champagne for the first time may receive slight pleasure. The
next time he dines out he will, with image of his previous experience,
have slight desire for champagne. As experience is repeated his pleasure
and desire may increase to ecstasy and passion. But habits not obviously
pleasure-yielding, as the morning chore to the country lad, will be
desired after intermittance; the country boy homesick in the city longs
in the morning for the familiar scene and familiar task which was a
source of aversion at home. We painfully miss the customary, even the
painful customary, for thereby the conservative tendency of nature and
organic activity is broken up. Desire arises for relief from this pain,
and the habitual is so far regarded as pleasurable. Thus desire is in
proportion to the “restraint” only so far as the restraint is painful,
and thus relief appears pleasurable. Thus the desire for the habitual
has, like other desire, its basis in prospective pleasure.

That the analysis of desire as regards representation of pleasure is
still an open question certainly marks the psychology of feeling as very
backward; that here is a most common and prominent psychosis, whose
simplest analysis is not yet agreed upon, shows how far we yet are from
a standard of subjective verification. I have expressed my own opinion
that both the evolutionary standpoint and special analysis indicate a
distinct emotion at prospective good which is best denominated by the
term desire. This is a purely psychological result, and has absolutely
no reference to ethics. “Pleasure” has such an inevitable ethical tinge
that a purely scientific denotation would be useful. The “good” is a
better, but also objectionable term. That then the organism should
foresee and image the good and should have a feeling about it which
should stimulate will to its appropriation and realization is a
psychosis of utmost value, and one which is in all psychism above the
lowest an extremely common phenomenon. This does not assert that desire
in all its lower range is a seeking for pleasure, an extremely late
conception and endeavour; but it means that as perception is of things
in their experience values, so representation also, as giving the basis
of desire; but a conscious hedonism is still afar off.

The general function which desire subserves in stimulating advantageous
action is obvious. As anger and fear are primarily useful emotions in
view of potential pain and harm, so desire in view of potential pleasure
and benefit.

The function of desire in stimulating advantageous action is obvious.
Desire answers to potential pleasure and benefit just as anger does to
potential pain and harm. It is a correlative and supplement of fear, and
in general the more one fears a thing the more one desires the opposite.
When sailing I desire fair weather in proportion as I fear a squall.
Desire is the very spring of life and progress, and when desire is
extinguished the will to live ceases, and psychic life declines and
dies. Fulness of desire is fulness of life, and the largest mental life
is that in which desire, constant, multiplex, and far-reaching, is
strong and dominant. Desire seems thus to be a permanent factor, and,
though there is a pre-desire period, no post-desire age seems to be
indicated in psychic history so far.

Somewhat as to the analysis of desire has already been intimated in
touching upon its origin and function, but we are now to study its
elements more in detail. The very young infant certainly experiences
hunger pains in almost its initial consciousness; but it is only
gradually that the need felt leads up to presentation and representation
of the needed thing, and so to desire. Hunger with it, as with all
organisms, sharpens the wits, and leads to knowing things, interpreting
them, and acting definitely toward them. Through touch it first comes to
appreciate object, and object as food, a representative–inductive act.
The earliest meaning attached to object is edibility, and this, indeed,
indiscriminately to all objects, as we see that infants mouth
everything. Gradually from this, or by dint of a good deal of unpleasant
experience, objects are divided into edible and non-edible, the
primitive classification of things.

From the consideration of any such simple example as the desire for food
we determine that the first element toward and in desire is a lack-pain
generating felt want, and so—and such common use of words is
significant—we want, _i.e._, desire what we are in want of. A feeling of
need or lack is fundamental. Now sense of lack is more than pain from
restriction or intermission, for it implies a measure of in-ground
integrated experience with objects, a constant connecting of object with
purely subjective experience. For instance, hunger and feeling the need
of food, the craving for food, are not the same, for it is evident that
to feel lack of anything with such a central pain as hunger-pain means
that this something has often been conjoined with the pain experience.
Hunger is primarily an organic uneasiness and gnawing pain which does
not include any sense of object as of a food or reference thereto. Our
subjective and objective experience have been so completely integrated,
and feeling of lack and that for a very definite thing has become so
ingrained in mind with pains, we feel so spontaneously and immediately
need of _thing_ in connection with organic pains that it is very
difficult for us to realize a state where this connection has not been
formed or is forming. But it would seem that the first hunger pains of
the infant are of this primitive quality, and that need is not felt in
connection therewith. It is only after some crude cognitions of bodies
have been generated in connection with the feeding act and as guides
thereto that on occasion of hunger pains there can occur the sense of
lack of food object, a painful feeling of unrealization, at first very
dimly representative, and so a craving, an incipient emotion. Desire
rests then upon capacity to feel the lack of accustomed satisfying thing
in connection with some form of perception or representation of the
thing. When a satisfying object is missing, it must be _missed_
psychically before desire can awake. The reaction when a customarily
conjoined experience does not occur is a peculiar feeling in mind, a
disturbance, uneasiness, a unique sense of loss and lack which is the
immediate stimulus of desire. Hunger at first leads blindly to
activities tending to satisfy hunger, but the satisfying
thing—food—therewith becomes gradually known, hence thereafter when
hunger comes there is struggle both to know and to act thereby. This
struggle has impulsation from feelings of lack.

Lack pains then prompt to cognitive activities to find the thing lacked
and desired. The first knowledge is that some things satisfy, and an
appropriative activity is excited. The lowest organisms under impulse of
hunger pains reach out after things, feel for them, and as soon as they
sense the edible, appropriate it. It is quite evident that they exercise
cognition only as driven to it, and then it is effort even for the
simplest knowing. But what the first psychic facts are is hard for us to
interpret, because we have progressed so far beyond them. However, we
may well believe that the general form of primitive consciousness is
akin to what we have when dozing or half awake. The realization of
things is dim indefinite, and it is only as pains of considerable
severity are felt and as the psychism gains in capacity for pain that
particular knowledges and particular needs and desires are accomplished.
After having repeatedly sensed something—as a soft vegetable form—in
connection with bodily pain as hunger and with the feeding activity as
allaying hunger, a renewal of the pain from organic conditions will
give, not merely purely subjective pains, but also, as the
pre-associated cognition of thing and the allaying of hunger is not
experienced, there arises as reaction a vague sense of lack which may
lead to equally vague desire. A vague uneasiness and restlessness which
knows object and misses object only in the most general way is the
lowest basis. A study of some case of waking from a doze by reason of
hunger would give the original formation of desire as involving lack
sense. Here a purely subjective pain gradually intensifies till it
wakens a very general objectifying, and we feel need of undefined
something, which soon becomes specialized, when fully wakened, to need
of something to eat, and finally as need of some particular usual food,
as bread, meat, or milk, which is then desired.

Pain from restriction or intermission of some organic activity, as the
digestive and assimilatory, may then lead to sense of lack and desire
for object which is unrealized. However, craving-desire as implying
sense of loss, of something pleasurable missed, is not organic, but is
mere reflex of organization. It is not progressive, but conservative; it
does not initiate, it merely keeps the organism to its accustomed level.
This is the limited range of appetite. Craving rests on past evolution.
However, we have to explain the origin of those activities which, when
intermitted, produce such distressful results. We must first acquire the
liking before we miss what we like, and tastes uniformly originate
through effort, and all pleasurable activity is built up by painful
volition as urged by direct pains or by desires. Desire then is more
than craving. Craving as based on organic lack is satiable, desire is
insatiable. We desire what we have never missed and modes of experience
we have never attained. We, who have never had a gold watch, desire one,
and having received one, we lose it, miss it, and so desire is
reinforced. All the progressive activity of the human world originates
in desire, as ambition, or as desire of truth, virtue, etc. Here we do
not miss what we are accustomed to, but we are forming habits, which
will be the basis for cravings with descendants. For instance, one who
now does not miss beauty of art, but is ambitiously striving to
appreciate art, may come finally—or at least his descendants—to miss
art, and so to crave it. But for the time he has no art craving, only an
art desire. Of course all desire in the craving form, or in the higher
desire form, involves a missing actualization. All desire is
extinguished in realization. But this obviously does not destroy the
distinction of desire as based on craving, a spontaneous resultant from
integration, an intermittence of habit, and desire as itself integrating
habit-forming emotion.

However, with the lowest psychisms, we may perhaps suppose it unlikely
that representation does ever become definite enough for desire, except
when in direct sensing of a thing, as, for example, in a touch
perception. The psychism is impelled to touch activity by its subjective
pains and simple, undifferentiated lack pains. It does not desire a food
through the representation of it brought up by hunger, for such
representation of things in their potentiality is probably not
originally stimulated directly by subjective feelings, though with man,
for instance, we know that hunger and other simple feelings will provoke
representations of foods, which foods will be desired; and particularly
in famine the most lively representations of feasts occur, and thus
there is a strengthening and defining of desire. Thus in famine there
comes a greater and greater urgency to action as its necessity becomes
greater. The vivid representations of foods become through desire—though
there may be no sense connection with food—a mighty force for
self-preservative action.

Yet primitively desire probably awoke only after some sensing was
accomplished, not the mere subjective pain, but the touch perception
awoke the representation, for it would seem the original _status_ that
representation occurs at first only with correlated presentation. Thus
it is that the simplest psychisms are driven by their pains to achieve a
touch or some sensing of a thing before they interpret it as food, and
so desire it; that is, things must have a food meaning attached to them
through actual sense appreciation of them as such, before they can be
directly instanced in pure representation as foods. Hunger leads us
immediately to think of food, but this ability to directly represent
food is based upon having thoroughly learned certain things as food by
repeated direct experiences. A savage who has never seen or known of
bonbons is presented with a box of them, and he may receive them with
indifference, but a bonbon is placed in his mouth, whereupon he says,
“it tasted so good, I want another.” Such is the genesis of desire when
pleasure quality is attached to thing, is learned by experience. The
visual and tactual experience is actively conjoined with pleasure
experience, so that seeing another bonbon, he represents its
pleasurability and so desires it.

Further, the relative presentations and feelings must be mentally
correlative, the connection must be more than phenomenal series of
several forms; there must be an active connecting psychic process as
basis. You are told to open your mouth and shut your eyes, and a bonbon
is dropped in; the taste will at once give rise to a revival visual
presentation, and if a person holds up before your eyes a fine bonbon,
saying, “look at this,” there may occur revival taste experiences. But
the immediate basis of desire is not here, for if psychic process
stopped here, there would be no higher elements; these can only be
accomplished by a definite bringing up and attribution of subjective
quality to the thing. You represent its possible pleasurableness on the
basis of past experience, by the action of the inductive instinct, a
complex process. Here revival is not an active correlating, but is
self-contained, lying isolated by itself, and unfruitful till its
revival character is recognised, and it is actively wrought into
experience. That is, integrating act is presupposed in all desire.

The way in which revival becomes the basis representation is hard to
trace, but in many cases it seems to be connected with certain
physiological activities. A revival form implies correlated physical
functions, as when the sight of a peach causes the taste pre-experienced
therewith to be revived, and the mouth waters, as if in actual
deglutition. As the reacting and assimilating process is carried on
without any real thing to be acted upon, there comes a physiological
reaction, which in turn gives rise to peculiar psychic affections, and
specially the uneasy feeling of lack. The unreality and mere revival
character of the revival experience is ultimately recognised, and
representation becomes possible, and idea of pleasure as both
experienced and experienceable is evolved. Thus an unsubstantial
revival, where the thing is sensed in one form only, but thereby
re-awakening other associated experiences, as in the case of merely
seeing a peach, leads finally to know the thing as a potency; I taste,
but after all I taste nothing; hence I am led to perceive the thing as a
sign, as unrealized in its pleasure significance, but realizable. How we
attain sense of reality and unreality we discuss in chapter on
Induction, but with special reference to desire we add here an
illustration. When engaged in reading on a hot day, I have feeling of
discomfort, and then spontaneously arises image of a wonted bathing
place, I have the image of moving in the clear, cool water, but at once
recognising the unreality of the image, I long for realization. I, when
heated, have so often seen the water, and plunged in it, that the
presentation of mode of relief has become firmly associated with the
discomfort, so when it organically returns, presentation revives, and
its unreality known, desire rises. One not accustomed to bathe, but to
taking lemonade when heated, will have visions of lemonade and desire
therefor. One who is just forming some habit of relief will not have
spontaneous images, but must call them up. Desire also will be purely
general, “Oh! to get rid of this heat.” Specific desire, as founded upon
a definite image of realization, is primarily the result of active
association of definite object and mode with a given pleasure-pain
state. The realizing the image as unreality, as suggesting an
actualization to be wished for, is learned from rude experience with
present sensations and perceptions quite at variance with the image.
Thus, that the vision of water is unreality I know by seeing the room
before me, touching the chair, sense of painful heat unrelieved, etc. An
image of actualization barely of itself does not include desire. I may
conceive that I can image myself moving in water without any emotion
therewith connected, but as matter of fact, this never occurs; all our
images of actualization carry some desire value. Even bare phantasy, as
imagining myself living on the moon, is not without a tinge of desire or
aversion, for the origin and growth of imaging has been so bound up with
desire, and is for desire as life function that some desire tendency is
retained even in the purest flights of imagination. It becomes
increasingly evident that such a simple and understandable expression
as, “I want that peach,” implies a great complexity of psychic process
which is hidden from us by the summarizing facility of language. Emotion
is evidently far too complex for full analysis. Its complexity is such
that we may well hesitate to attribute it, as is so often and easily
done, to the lowest psychisms. Since desire includes a measure of
self-consciousness, and also of consciousness of pleasure, it seems
improbable at first sight that such elements should exist in certain low
consciousnesses where primitive organisms seem impelled by desire.
However, though this _a priori_ view has weight, it must not be allowed
to be of supreme value. Yet when we fairly interpret a very simple case,
as when a dog scenting and seeing meat on a shelf, is said to desire it,
and so to spring for it, we certainly imply a complexity of mental
activity, which might by many be thought quite beyond the power of even
a very intelligent dog. We have at least the following factors:—

1. Simple scent or vision of the thing; bare presentation or
representation of object.

2. Either a definite bringing up, or a mechanical re-occurrence of past
pleasurable associated feelings and sensations, or both.

3. Sense of unreality.

4 Feeling of lack.

5. Pain of lack.

6. Sense of pleasure potentiality of the thing, which implies—

      (_a_) Idea of pleasure.

      (_b_) Idea of personal experience thereof, _i.e._, some egoistic

      (_c_) Sense of experience as in time past, as experienced.

      (_d_) Sense of time as future as implied in sense of the

7. The longing, yearning, peculiar desire quality as feeling mode.

8. Desire pain.

In the first place then, the object of desire, the _desideratum_, is not
the object as such. We do not desire things merely as such, but only as
far as they are significant of experience. Presentation does not, at
least normally and originally, ever end in itself, but it is always
connected, and connects with pleasure-pain experiences. Desire begins by
being vague as to its object; under slight pressures of pain we want
something, but we know not what; we have dim, undefined longing, but the
indefinite object is always a possibility of experience, a centre of
pleasure-pain potency. At the first stirring of hunger pains, we have a
vague uneasiness and sense of lack, with a most general idea of object
and longing toward it, and suffer the pain from hunger. We may be
physiologically hungry without feeling hungry, and so may have a desire
of thing in general to remove pain before the pain is felt and
recognised in its particularity as hunger pain. When hunger comes, or,
primitively, is achieved, then we want something to eat; and as this
feeling intensifies, the craving becomes more and more definite as to
object; bread, etc., is wanted, and in famine hunger there is the most
particular representation, as of certain dishes formerly eaten with
great relish. Lumholtz, wandering famished on a Christmas in the wilds
of Australia, thinks of the puddings in his native Norway. The
evolutionary significance of this increasing definition of object in
desire is obvious in that greater definiteness and accuracy of
self-preservative action is thereby assured.

As far as the nature of the emotion desire goes, it seems quite
indifferent whether there is presentation or representation of object. I
desire equally, whether I actually see the bonbon on the table or when I
merely represent it—see it in my mind’s eye.

Primarily then, and always, even in the latest evolution, as tendency at
least, the desire is for the pleasure in the object, and desire is
excited by every representation of the pleasurable. If one says, “I can
look upon pleasure without desire,” we may well question whether there
is really personal pleasure represented. Dancing, card-playing,
wine-drinking, may be pleasures which do not attract me because I do not
care for them; and by such a statement we indicate the practical
parallelism of pleasure and desire which is forced upon common
introspection. If you care for it, it is a pleasure to you; if you do
not care for it, it is not a pleasure to you; such is the result of
common observation, and a very just conclusion so far as I can see. To
excite desire, we naturally suggest the pleasurable. One person
persuading another to go to a party says: “I know you would have a good
time.” When one answers, “I know that I would have a good time, but I
dread the trouble of getting ready”; here is a conflict of desires in
which desire of present ease and comfort may overcome desire of future
pleasure. We may, indeed, assert that one cannot honestly say, “I know
it would be a great pleasure to me, but I have no desire for it.” When
such a phrase is used, it can only mean that the pleasure is interpreted
as belonging to the generic class of pleasures, yet not a pleasure to
the individual in his present conception, or else its contingency,
implied by “would,” is so great that desire is practically _nil_.

And if the pleasurable is always the desirable, the desirable also may
be said to be only the pleasurable. The martyr in his most eager desire
for a painful death, fixes his mind, not upon the pain as pain, but upon
the enduring it successfully, and the triumphant pleasure, also the
satisfaction of the reward of martyrdom, and the pleasure of suffering
for right and the approval of conscience; these and many other factors
influence him.

Desire is _at_ pleasure, not _in_ pleasure, and thus contains pain,
especially as implied in the preparative factors, sense of unreality and
sense of lack. A bonbon may be so cunningly imitated, that placed in the
mouth it feels like a bonbon, yet not tasting so, the painful sense of
unreality and loss occurs. There is a painful waking up to the fact of
non-realization, much the same in quality as that which we suppose to
have happened in the original genesis of desire. The pleasant
hallucination is broken in upon by actuality not fulfilling the psychic
co-ordination pre-established under more favourable circumstances; and
this occurs in early psychisms on a wider variety of occasions than in
later development. That I am not tasting the bonbon I see on the table,
this fact _per se_ does not pain me. I take it as a matter of course in
an order of nature already well learned and completely acquiesced in.
But with infantile and lower stages of evolution generally, the lack of
immediate correlation seems highly painful. Seeing has directly
developed in immediate connection with a tasting, and the seeing without
tasting seems by its very nature as disquieting as the feeling in the
mouth the artificial bonbon without being able to taste is for later
experience. It is through the negations of customary coincident
impressions that anticipation and desire become forced by the exigencies
of life. The early psychism is limited in its adjustments to a very few
simple coincidences, but in the struggle of life in complex nature there
comes disruption of these primitive co-ordinations, and sequences become
apprehended, and meaning is discerned in things. This disruption
primitively occurred most easily when there was direct opposition to the
usual course of sensations. Just as when mouthing the imitation bonbon,
we apprehend most quickly and easily non-realization when it tastes sour
rather than sweet. By realities continually breaking in upon the common
course of psychic association, the significance of things is gradually
apprehended, and to see a thing is understood not merely as coincident
with other sensations and perceptions, touching, tasting, and
pleasure-feeling, but the thing is cognized as centre of pleasure
potency, and so can become object of desire. Experience loses its
self-contained simplicity, and is forced in the struggle of experience
in a complex environment into some definite understanding of things, and
into a feeling for them or at them, and not merely a feeling from them.
And so a world of desirables and aversibles is formed.

If no pain was felt in the experience of unreality and lack, if there
was mere passivity, desire would not be generated. This pain of loss
spurs the mind to achieve desire, and desire enables the organism to
attain the advantageous. At length a conventionalized world of
desirables so formed, and certain significances, become so inground into
experience that they seem often to be instinctively and immediately
recognised by the individual, anterior to any personal learning by
experience, as in cases of instinctive fear of, and desire for, certain

While desire is attained at the incitement of pain, it is in itself a
painful mental act. The emotional going out toward the _desideratum_ is
in itself a painful mode of consciousness. The feeling I have for the
bonbon which I see and desire is, so far as desire, painful, yet
negatively and comparatively, it may be pleasurable in that this
psychosis may supplant one more painful still. It may be said that
desire is painful, and also lack of desire, or _ennui_. But mere
desirelessness is not _ennui_. _Ennui_ is a feeling of lack and loss,
and so a feeling of desire, but a peculiar kind of desire. It is desire
for activity, when by a morbid _status_ there is no desire moving to
activity. Lack of desire and interest in things may be painfully
revealed to some active natures, but to the great majority of psychisms
it is a pleasure state. As far as we can judge, the undesire of the cow
leisurely chewing her cud in a warm corner of the barn yard is supreme
felicity. A state of desirelessness, complete yet blissful, occasionally
visits even the consciousness of the nineteenth century busy-body. But
the normality of desire for human adult consciousness in general is
apparent to all. One who loses all interest or desire loses hold on
life. Thus desire is life, and even when it is sought to extinguish it
either as dictated by a philosophical maxim or by religious and moral
scruples, on account of the innate selfishness of desire—Madame Guyon,
for instance—yet desire is sure to intrude, and must as a desire to
destroy desire. So whether we _would_ fly, or _would_ reach desire, we
thereby desire. We may uproot or cultivate certain kinds of desire which
thereby become objects of aversion or desire, but the effort to
extinguish desire as general fact of psychic life involves either a
psychological indefinite _regressus_ which is never desireless, or else
it means the extinction of consciousness itself in any grade above the

A further element which appears in all desire is some measure of
self-consciousness. The representation of the experienceable implies
some representation of experiences. In constituting the world as the sum
total of the experienceable, we imply an ego-consciousness, and that
objectifying as psychic act is correlated with subjectifying. Desire,
like all other emotion, implies a subjective reference. We see clearly
that the psychic act expressed by “this is the food,” and as such the
precursor of and ingredient of desire, means an identification with past
personal experience. A similar act is performed, no doubt, by animals
very commonly, though not expressible in speech, yet in measure
expressible, as in the cluckings of a hen to attract the brood to some
seeds. In various ways the _desideratum_ is suggested to the mind, and
in view of it, both in the identifying as having experiences, and the
longing to experience, some consciousness of personality is implied.
This in early forms of psychosis is, no doubt, meagre and indefinite
enough, but not more so than its correlate sense of object. When a
strange object is presented, as when a famished traveller finds a new
house, identifying effort is instinctive; he at once seeks to understand
it, and gropes through his past experience to determine what has been
its life significance for him or other persons, and so what will be.
What is thus done in the full light of reflective consciousness by man,
is done in a summary and imperfect manner, generally by psychisms, as
preparative to making the object a _desideratum_ or _anti-desideratum_.
The assimilating and integrating, the knowing, never exists without some
appreciation of subject, because integration is not only of
something—objectifying act—but also to something—subjectifying act.
Things are from the first apprehended only in their immediate egoistic
significance, and also very early as centres of possible sensations
which become a matter of fear and hope, desire and aversion.

Desire is certainly a very extensive psychic _genus_ including many
varieties which are noted by common introspection, and which are even
denoted by special words. A wish is a momentary act of desire, longing
is intense form; ambition and aspiration are desires for higher order of
objects, as contrasted with desire for food or dress. The kinds as
distinguished by object are numberless since any object may be
desirable, and the realm of the desirable is coincident with the realm
of the knowable. In the course of evolution we become aware of things
and of states of consciousness, so that by feeling about them—having
emotions—there may result the advantageous action with reference to
them. This order, not consciously apprehended of course, is the natural
order of psychic events, and one which, in tendency at least, always
appears, even in latest evolutions. The desire to know what is the full
experience value of things, curiosity, is an early acquirement, since
complete cognition of object is obviously of the greatest advantage,
especially to the weaker animals, as deer, who act wholly on the
defensive. The very strong can afford to be largely indifferent to their

With reference to intensity, we can place forms from a positive to a
negative pole. Thus with a famished man desire for food is first intense
craving, becoming with continued eating moderate desire, then feeling of
satisfaction, then of repletion, then negative, as aversion in passive
form or satiety, then becoming active as disgust, and intense as
loathing. Content, or desire satisfied, is not desire extinguished,
rather it is an equilibrium wherein desire and its function are in
continual equalizing action. When desire granted means all desire
extinguished, with beings of any high tendency to activity _ennui_ is
the result. Here, as Schopenhauer notes, wish for a wish develops. Even
in complete pleasurable quiescence, there is desire for its continuance,
which is only saying that there can be no complete quiescence short of
coma, or else of a state where reality has never broken in, and
experience is wholly unformed where the being cannot anticipate or note
change. Pure and absolute content never occurs, and as a matter of fact
never will, the point of transition in the desire gamut, in passing from
positive to negative, being like a mathematical form, unreal and
theoretical. When positive desire ends, negative desire springs up
immediately, just as in the pleasure-pain gamut, where the indifference
point of transition has no existence in reality.

Desire in any of its forms may take on an altruistic, disinterested
phase, though much that is taken for altruistic is only apparently or
partially so, being really due to self-extension. If you take an
interest in anything, it becomes interesting to _you_, it is a matter of
personal concern, and becomes identified with the self. Thus in _our_
family, _our_ town, _our_ nation, _our_ race, desire plants itself; it
is in this personal extension of view that most of the pity, sympathy,
and benevolence is exercised. A well-wishing and consequent exertion for
humanity in general is very late, and still later is desire for animals
as sentient beings having a worth of being in themselves.

The remarks we have made concerning desire proper, apply equally to
aversion. We must bear constantly in mind that desire proper and
aversion are really in psychic analysis, merely phases positive and
negative of a certain definite mode of psychosis, hence we often use
desire in this large and generic sense, which instances will be apparent
from the context. Desire, like other emotions, is polar, and desire
generic has its antipodal feeling in some form of active desirelessness.

As desire is naturally and originally connected with all perception of
object, we find it closely allied with other emotions. While we must
suppose that early desire is upon idea of pleasure, upon the idea of its
realization to be attained, without any estimate of likelihood or
unlikelihood of realization, which factor is slow in evolution, yet when
through experience, sense of certainty or uncertainty is attained as to
the experienceable, this psychosis—belief—has a marked effect upon
desire, and is closely associated with it. Bare sense of the
experienceable was sufficient to generate desire, but when the measure
of probability of the experienceable actually happening is measured, we
have belief, expectation, hope, and kindred psychoses, bound up with
desire. The expression, “I hope it will be a good day to-morrow,”
indicates a wish that it would, _plus_ some confidence that it will be a
good day; “I wish it would be a good day, but I fear it will not,” shows
some lack of confidence in the realization of the event. Hope then
equals wish, _plus_ the intellectual element expectation, a desire for a
realization _plus_ some belief in it as actually to happen. A large
share of learning by experience consists in the reaction of this
expectation on the wish, in learning not to set our hearts on what we
believe to be unrealizable or extremely improbable to happen. Wish also
acts on belief, as is plainly expressed in the common phrase, “the wish
is father to the thought.” If belief tends to restrict or magnify
desire, desire also tends to determine belief. Hope, as very commonly
used, as when we say, “I hope it will turn out so,” is a passive
emotion, and does not appeal to the individual as self-determining the
event. As the primary end of emotion is to incite the organism to
determine its own experience, hope as passive seems a rather late
evolution, as having only an indirect and general value by maintaining
general pleasurable tone. The one who hopes it will be a good day
to-morrow is in a better and more advantageous frame of mind than he who
fears it will be a bad day, in so far as the events are equally beyond
self-determination, and it is of no direct use to either hope or fear.

As to the range of desire we must then disagree with Aristotle and later
psychologists, who suppose that desire is limited by the belief in the
possibility of realization. Desire existed before this belief was
generated; and while, after its generation, it may often affect desire,
yet often it does not. I may wish for the moon as readily as the child
to whom the notion of possibility or impossibility of realization is
beyond experience. The unrepresentable only cannot be wished, and desire
is bounded only by the power of conception and perception. Hope is a
species of desire which has to do with belief in the possibility of the
event or act: it is a joyful emotion connected with belief of
realization of the pleasurable. This distinction between hope and desire
in general is implied in the phrases, “I wish he _would_ do it,” and “I
hope he _will_.” The hope includes the desire, but the desire may exist
without the hope, as we say, “I wish he would, but know he won’t.”
Desire may be hopeless, but hope cannot be desireless.

Desire is vitally connected with ideation and volition, but properly it
is the intermediate emotional moment between these, and not idea of
pleasure—as James Mill—nor yet to be placed under will—Bain, James. It
is neither phase of ideation or volition. Desire is neither idea of, nor
striving after realization; it is not the idea of goal nor the effort to
reach goal. I may have idea of a goal without desire to reach it—at
least, analysis discriminates thus as separate mental stages—and I may
desire to reach it without trying to reach it,—impotent desire,
sometimes called wish. The striving is the consequent, and the idea the
antecedent of the desire which is the emotion wave we emphasize by the
word, longing. Desire is neither phase of volition nor ideation.
Volition is properly effort at realization, and is stimulated by the
emotion toward the realization ideally apprehended.

The relation of desire to will has been a fertile subject of discussion
from Aristotle down, but we have to take up but a single aspect, namely,
whether will and desire may with reference to the same object be
contrary or distinct. Take the example of contrariety mentioned by
Stewart. I wish a certain man not to do a certain act, but yet I
persuade him to do it at the request of a friend. If I say I will
persuade him, though I wish him not to be persuaded, this merely implies
that the wish to oblige my friend overcomes the aversion to persuading
the man. And, in general, apparent cases of conflict of will and desire
may be resolved into conflict of desires. Hence the phrase, “I will do
it, though I do not want to do it,” is inaccurate or rather an
incomplete analysis. We should always add, “because I have some
extraneous and stronger desire.” A box of bonbons is hung in a room at a
height to be had by whomsoever will jump and reach it. In any party of
persons there may be some to whom the wish for ease, the disinclination
to jump, overcomes the inclination for the bonbons, so that this
volition does not occur, others who jump even against this
disinclination, the desire for the bonbons being the stronger desire,
and others, very active, who jump without feeling any disinclination to
the act. Conflict of desires is a common and almost constant state with
many minds, and the evolution of man has been mainly through conflict of
desire in sacrificing an immediate to a future good. In lower minds with
so little self-consciousness and consciousness of a consciousness that
they do not grasp conduct as a whole, there is a simple alternation of
volitions flowing from the desires of rival goods, till one by its
intrinsic force dominates with some permanence. These are the creatures
of impulse, unreflecting and unself-directing by principle and reason.
Higher minds realize _their_ situation and consciously bring in higher
desire or motive; they form rules and principles of conduct: they become
ethical beings, having self-control and self-direction.

Desire is based by Mr. Bain on hindrance and opposition to activity, on
“a bar in the way of activity.” This is true if we understand it to
refer to sense of unreality and of lack as connected with an
apprehension of thing where the thing is really absent from the usual
correlation, and hence physiological activities are checked. We have in
the previous pages discussed this, but this is not Mr. Bain’s point of
view. The three elements he emphasizes are: deficiency, idea of
pleasure, and the hindrance. Thus, he contrasts the prisoner who looks
out on a bright day and longs to take a walk, with a perfectly free man
who looks out on a fine day and freely follows his inclination to walk.
However, it appears to me that both have desire, and that in the same
sense both are moved by the motive, though only one is free to attain
the action. So if I get thirsty in a waterless desert or in my room with
a jug of water on the table, the bodily sensations will equally lead to
desire. The conflict in desire is between state actual and state
conceived, and not between will and restraint. Mr. Bain remarks, “If all
motive impulses could be at once followed up, desire would have no
place.” (_Emotions and Will_, p. 423.) But desire is itself an original
impulse, and is more or less an ingredient in all emotion impulse; and
it is plain that emotion impulses as implying representation are the
only ones which can be “followed up.” Where every wish is gratified as
soon as formed, as with a petted child of rich parents, desire still
remains in all its characteristic quality. Such an one, however, by
having only the momentary pleasure of completed realization, misses the
joys of realizing, and loses all that happiness which has been defined
as sense of progress. If every wish were gratified as soon as formed, if
every representation of pleasure was immediately followed by
realization, desire would still exist in all its peculiar force. The
moment of gratification is always second to the moment of desire, and a
Fortunatus with his wishing-cap cannot possess in absolute coincidence
with the wish.

It may be objected that Tantalus’ desire is certainly a form where
hindrance is the main stimulant. When one is continually hindered just
on the point of realization, desire is intensified, but this
intensifying is very largely due to the increased definiteness of
presentation or representation, and to the increase of confidence in the
event. To tantalize is to bring before one an object of strong desire
into the clearest prominence and seemingly certain attainment, yet to
constantly withhold it.

We have spoken of desire as an impulse, and we would include all emotion
as impulse, for to impel is its function and action. Impulse is the will
side of emotion as interest is its intellectual side. If I fear a man,
this is my interest in him and impulse from him. True, we speak of being
driven by “blind impulse”; but emotion cannot be blind, it can only be
kindled by object imaged. Anything which actuates the will may very
broadly but wrongly be called impulse, for impulse strictly connotes an
emotion wave undirected and issuing at once in action. Where unforeseen
ends are served, as when a hen driven by sensation of heat sits on eggs,
we commonly but wrongly denominate it impulse. Without some
representation there is no emotion and no impulse. So when standing over
a precipice I say I have the impulse to throw myself down, this means
that the depth wakens in me image of falling and an awful desire to
realize the image, which impels the act. If I am merely giddy I will
fall, but if I have the emotion-impulse I will throw myself down; I am
not impelled by dizziness or any sensation, but the term denotes emotion
as desire or fear.

For the ordinary human mind desire seems in general a spontaneous and
instinctive act. We do not make an effort in desiring, though desire
like other mental functions undoubtedly arose in struggle. Originally
this psychosis was a stress and strain activity; it was a rarely
achieved emotion, just as the emotion of pleasurable appreciation of
Beethoven’s music or Michael Angelo’s sculpture is for most minds a rare
uplift of psychic force. Knowing as compound of presentation and
representation and as involving emotion and volition, is, with us,
within certain limits, an habitual spontaneous act of mind. I feel the
pain from cold, without sensation of cold, as bare pain, as
undifferentiated feeling of discomfort, I then feel cold, I feel cold
object, I desire warmth, I will to draw near the stove; here is a
progressive series of correlated psychoses which are constantly
occurring in a spontaneous way in ordinary experience. But this psychic
structure which operates so easily is really the outgrowth of ages of
psychic evolution wherein the separate steps have been achieved and the
correlation established only by the severest _nisus_.

Associations are first achieved in experience established by numberless
reiterations before there is spontaneous tendency to re-occurrence, this
is the law of psychic evolution to-day, and is the only clue we have to
the past. The evolution of mind is not and never has been a mechanical
process, but its basis is in pure feeling as stimulating volition.
Paradoxical as the expression sounds, yet in a sense it is true that the
organism has _learned_ to know and to feel thereupon. It may even be
that in the course of psychic ages with certain species of animals some
emotions may become innate, and such advantageous psychoses as fear or
desire may occur without any integration through individual experience.
The new-born chick, when it hears the note of a hawk, is said to show
signs of fear, though what actual psychosis occurs, if any, seems almost
beyond our power to know. The whole process may be reflex nervous
action, a mere closed neural circuit being affected. It is no doubt true
that all long-continued, often recurring psychoses tend to so embody
themselves in a neural combination that the given activities are carried
on in a sub-conscious and finally in an unconscious way. It is very
probable that much that we take for emotion with lower animals is reflex
or semi-reflex action; yet it is likewise true that there is, as a
matter of advantage in struggle for existence, an inherited instinctive
tendency to certain emotions, to certain kinds of fear and desire, and
there may be a distinct awareness of the potency in things, which has
never been individually realized. In its every transaction with things
the young organism may act by reflex action or by inherited emotional
tendency. How far either or both enter into the first individual
experiences is a matter for the psychology of the future.

The general function of desire in life is obvious; it is the most potent
factor in conserving and extending life. Far back in a paleozoic psychic
period life was below desire; but once originating under the pressure of
the struggle for existence it has since developed into the most manifold
and complex forms. Human life is the outcome of desire, and the human
being is _par excellence_ the desiring psychism. As the moving factor of
humanity history is its record, and present human organization, faculty,
and achievement is its product. Desire, as the force to realize, to
convert seen potency into actuality, the idea into reality, is now in
the very highest examples of psychic development an ever increasing
power, and no prospect of a psychic stage to be reached beyond desire is
intimated in the present course of normal development. The tendency
toward extinction of desire, when it does occur, appears always as
pathologic or retrogressive symptom. It may be the dream of a
philosopher or of a cult, but with Schopenhauer himself desire was a
most forceful factor, and the devotee of desirelessness by very reason
of being a _devotee_ to an object, desires it, namely, the state of
desirelessness. We may desire to extinguish certain desires, and succeed
in accomplishing this, but to desire not to desire, as general act, is a
psychological contradiction in terms. A very low vegetative psychic
status without any desire is possible, but all teleologic activity
implies desire, hence extinction of desire can never be attained as an

Desire moves the world and is the core of psychic being. Deprived of
definite desire, we long for it, and if every wish were immediately
realized, we should desire delay in gratification. The amount and value
of life is measured by the quantity, quality, and effectiveness of
desire. Orton characterizes the Indians of the Amazon as “without
curiosity or emotion,” which must, however, be taken only as relatively
true, but yet marking them as extremely low in the psychic scale.

Education then, is a process of stimulating desire, of leading to
ambitions and aspirations. As what is imposed on consciousness without
desire is a hurtful burden, the true pedagogic method is always to
awaken the wish for knowledge and power before it is granted. Desire as
interest is assimilating power, and without it there is no mental
growth. The art of education is the art of stimulating intellectual,
æsthetic, moral and religious desires, and of providing for their
progressive gratification with the best arranged and most suggestive

                              CHAPTER XIV
                      _SOME REMARKS ON ATTENTION_

The term attention is, like feeling, a word of extremely doubtful and
variable import. Like feeling, attention may be used as denominating any
stage of consciousness, or it may be restricted to some more or less
specific form. As affections of the organism all psychoses are termed
feelings; viewed as subjective-objective acts, a content being attained,
consciousness as such is termed attention. We are said to be attending
when we have any activity of mind, when we have anything in the mind or
before the mind. When consciousness has something in it, consciousness
is attending, whence attention means consciousness acting. But what is
consciousness inactive? Nothing. Hence consciousness attending, used for
consciousness acting, is a pleonasm. Consciousness, by virtue of always
being conscious of something, does not need the word attention to
qualify it.

The attention of consciousness is called, attracted, or engaged, when
any mental act occurs, whether a pain, pleasure, perception, or whatever
form it may be. When the mind is occupied with anything, _i.e._, is
active, it is thereby attending to the thing. If I am conscious, I am,
of course, conscious of something, hence attending to that something.
But all these expressions are incompatible with a purely psychological
point of view. In psychics, as opposed to physics, the thing exists only
as perceived and in perceiving, _esse_ is _percipi_; the object or
content of consciousness exists neither beyond consciousness nor in it;
it is consciousness and consciousness is it, it is nothing more than
objectifying fact. Consciousness does not, like a pail, have contents,
but it is merely a name for the sum of activities we term conscious.
Such a phrase, then, as, attending to something, may be radically
misleading. We do not have both consciousness and a field of
consciousness, a presentation field. A tolerably constant part of human
consciousness is an activity which is a constituting a world of external
and internal objects. This objectifying activity, which may or may not
be object for higher activity—apperception or attention in one
sense—does not, however, persist and subsist as a more or less
mechanical _continuum_, as Mr. James Ward and that school maintain.
Still the word attention may in a vague and general way denote both the
realizing force and will effort therein of every act of consciousness.
But yet as thus a general term for certain aspects or general qualities,
it is liable to misconstruction, and we do not propose to employ it
either as denoting any act of consciousness as such, or any aspect

Attention may also denote dominancy in consciousness. When any one
factor is pre-eminent, we say the mind is therewith attentive. When any
element has a marked ascendency, so that all others are much feebler and
subservient, thereby is constituted a state of attention; as when sight
perception monopolizes consciousness in an eagle watching for prey, or
hearing commands all the mental powers of a deer listening to a strange
sound. However, practically all states are in reality complexes in which
some one factor is and must be dominant, and this universal phenomenon
of dominancy scarcely deserves the specific name, attention.
Consciousness is always more or less concentrated in some single
channel; the factors in any state of consciousness are never perfectly
equal in intensity, and so are never in perfect balance. But attention
is not this fact of dominancy, but rather that of consciously sustained
dominancy, as we shall note later.

If attention is not a proper term to denote simple dominancy, may it not
denote that complete form, engrossment, or absorption, where one element
predominates to the exclusion of all others, and so occupies all of
consciousness—that is, more exactly, is all the consciousness—and also
tests the capacity for consciousness to the full? The fixed idea is an
instance in point, and in a certain way also preoccupation or
absent-mindedness. Still, in this last there are manifold elements and
often great complexity—_e.g._, train of thought—hence dominances of
different forms, but yet a persistence of a certain mode with
consciousness running at its full capacity, and the result being that
the general trend is not easily altered. In cases of fixed idea and
brown study we say, “his attention is fully occupied,” which means
nothing more than his mind or consciousness capacity is fully taken. I
do not see that we gain anything by using attention in the same sense as
these two general terms, mind and consciousness, which are surely
sufficient. Further, when one “loses himself in a subject,” the power of
self-activity, and hence power of real attention, is lost. Mental
activity which has slipped beyond the control of will is not in any true
and high sense an attending, nor is attention good term for
consciousness at saturation point.

Again, attention is often used to denote consciousness in its change
aspect. When a new consciousness comes in and supplants a former state,
we say, in popular but misleading phrase, “it takes or attracts his
attention,” as if attention were entity rather than activity. But when
we say that change of consciousness is change of attention, we really
add nothing; it is an identical proposition. Attention does not qualify
consciousness, but is merely synonym for it.

Still again, may attention designate intensity, or some certain degree
of intensity? We may say of one, “he was looking inattentively,” or of a
fixed, intense gaze, “he was looking very attentively.” A strong vision
is thus opposed to weak as an attention. As all psychoses have some
degree of intensity, they are thereby acts of attention, if we reckon
from a zero point, or a more or less large number of consciousnesses if
we reckon from some fixed degree of intensity. But to call a psychosis,
because of its intensity, or because it has reached a certain degree
thereof, an attention, seems an unnecessary procedure. Nothing is gained
by describing an intense psychosis as an attention, and certainly
intense pains and pleasures hardly come under the term. Nor yet are
intense cognitions, merely by reason of the intensity, properly states
of attention. Fixed ideas are commonly intense, yet there is no true
attention, as we have before intimated. Cognitions which come as intense
must be marked off from those which are intense by reason of a
self-determined self-consciousness intensifying. The essence of
attention is intensifying act self-regulated. To be sure, intense
presentations are given as such only by an heredity _momentum_, from
past ancestral intensifyings; their _impetus_ is on the basis of past
cognitive exertions. Presentation intensity, and, indeed, all mental
intensity, is originally and fundamentally volitional; the act had its
force solely in will power; but in late phases psychoses which
originally required intense exertion rise spontaneously and have a
strength and persistence apart from volition, and so the word attention
does not rightly apply to them. Thus also we can solve the problem that
Mr. Ward states when he says, “How the intensity that presentations have
apart from volition is related to that which they have by means of
it—how the objective component is related to the subjective—is a hard
problem; still there is no gain in a spurious simplicity that ignores
the difference” (_Mind_, xii. p. 65). But “objective component” and
“subjective” do not enter into the question; cognition does not arise as
a given, as forced and determined from without, but it is rather at
bottom a mode of volition. Still attention is not then cognition
intensity in general.

If attention is not any form or quality of mental activity in general or
of cognition in particular, we must find its essence in volition—as,
indeed, has been intimated in the immediately preceding pages. Attention
is properly the will side of cognition; it is cognitive effort.
Considering attentively, looking attentively, listening attentively,
mean cognitive efforts in thinking, seeing and hearing. Here is a
cognitive experience which does not simply happen, but is definitely
brought about and held to. There is intensifying act by which the given
cognition is held and kept in dominancy. The word attention must, as a
psychological term, be extended to denote, not merely modes of cognitive
effort prominent in man, but all cognitive exertion of whatever grade.
It will include all will-tension in all the senses—olfactory, gustatory,
muscular, etc.—as well as visual and auditory.[D] A dog scenting game
may be as truly attentive as a waiter listening to your order. So far as
the smelling by the dog is merely instinctive, that is, heredity
survival, there is no real attention; the mental activities are not
efforts of will-attentions—so far as they occur spontaneously and
inevitably. But when, as we often see, a dog is somewhat baffled in
scenting, it plainly puts forth cognitive effort, it exerts its
cognitive powers to the utmost, there is that strain and stretch which
the word attention literally and naturally suggests. As soon, in fact,
as the labour point is reached in any mode of cognition, here is
attention. All toil and work is attention, as a definite exertion of
will including some cognitive element. The labour of life is attention,
is minding or attending to business. Attention is thus will effort in
maintaining and intensifying a mode of cognition.


Footnote D:

  See also my remarks in _Psychological Review_, ii. p. 53.


Concentration of attention is then, we may now remark, a redundancy, as
we make attention equal to concentration. To say his attention was
concentrated upon a certain subject, is equivalent to saying his mind
was concentrated. Sometimes, indeed, concentrated attention may mean
intense attention or concentration, but some concentration being always
involved in attention, it is a confusing and inaccurate phrase.

In a more restricted sense, attention is not merely any will tension in
cognition, but only so far as self-consciousness is involved in all the
exertion. We must sharply distinguish between this attention as willed
activity and as simple act of will. Willed cognitive activity denotes
cognition determined upon and consciously accomplished. The willing in
the knowing act may not be will to know. Willed cognitive activity, when
not against the will, when including choice and acquiescence, is in the
true sense voluntary attention—attention voluntarily, freely, willingly
performed. The term voluntary is not the proper correlative of
spontaneous, but rather volitional, while non-voluntary must be set over
against voluntary. In self-conscious attention of any kind there must be
consciousness of the tension, and consciously exercised effort in
delineating and maintaining cognition. In this narrow sense attention is
conscious furtherance or hindrance of cognition. Effort is consciously
put forth in some particular cognitive form; there is a self-limitation
by the mind in cognitive process. In short, attention here equals
cognition consciously constrained.

As to the relation of attention to subject, we remark that psychology as
the science of mental phenomena, rather than science of the soul, is not
called upon to imply a subject as in any wise attending. Yet we use, and
use inevitably, substantive forms and personal pronouns, but while it is
impossible for science to desubstantialize language, yet it must be ever
on its guard against the delusions of language. It is a common impulse
to explain activities by referring them to agents, to describe attention
and all mental acts as being what they are by reason of the actor, the
self, or _ego_; but science in this, as in so many things, inverts the
common order; the agent is made by and of activities, and not the
reverse. Agent or subject is no more than a congeries of manifold
interdependent activities. There is, and can be, no fixing of the mind
by the mind: the word, mind, being used in the same sense in both cases.
When I say, “I fix the mind upon something,” this means for analytical
psychology, that in the complex of consciousnesses which are unified by
an _ego_-sense, there occurs a will effort accomplishing a perception.
This purely dynamic interpretation is the method of all science which
cannot accept inexplicable essences and agents as explaining anything.
Attention is not to be explained by an attender, but it is a mode of
activity in that collection of activities which we term organic life
with conscious process. So even attention, as self-conscious exertion,
is not to be interpreted as an agent which is conscious of itself in
exerting; but we consider it as volitional activity with consciousness
of self as manifold complex of objects vitally connected with will
effort. Self-consciousness does not necessarily mean a self conscious of

It is obvious from our discussion thus far that we do not accept the
common division of attention into spontaneous and voluntary, which means
for us no more than spontaneous and voluntary—more properly
volitional—cognition. So-called spontaneous attention is the displacing
of one consciousness element by another without any will effort; there
is no displacing or placing as will activity, but cognitions appear,
persist and disappear by an inherent force. When in deep study the noise
of a whistle may spontaneously “attract my attention,” as the phrase is,
but this denotes no more than forcible change of state. There is nought
in the new act but the sensing the noise of whistle; there is no real
attending activity, no will effort at either promotion or inhibition.
However, we must grant that most cognition contains a volition element.
Absolute zero or negative value as to volition is but a momentary and
comparatively rare phenomenon in normal consciousness, where
self-possession and self-direction in some measure is almost constant.
In the case of noise of steam-whistle suddenly breaking in upon a
student, there is quickly attention—either positively, as listening to
quality, or to detect direction of sound; or negatively—true
_in_attention—as inhibiting and disturbing element. When one is made
“wild,” or distracted, by noise, then his mind is occupied unwillingly,
indeed, yet there being no real promotion or inhibition, we must term
the state _unattention_. Another form is where we give up in despair,
and passively suffer the annoying noise. In both cases we neither
stimulate nor repress, and so both are emotional unattentions. On
account of the pain-pleasure nature of all experience, there is even
here, however, some will attitude and tendency, some favouring or
retarding act, though it be wholly impotent in effect.

Just when a cognition rises to attention point, just when volition with
effort becomes prominent factor, this is a difficult and delicate
problem. However, according to the relative prominence or obscurity of
volition element, we must divide cognitions into attentions and
impressions. In the variety of human cognitive activity there is a
constant flow of cognitions which are one moment being strengthened to
attentions, and another, weakened to impressions. With volatile persons
cognitive life is a kaleidoscopic congeries of rapidly experienced
impressions and attentions. Will darts in and out with marvellous
velocity, now vivifying some, now others, in the stream of cognitive
activities determined by pleasure and pain interest. With all of us
there is a manifold complex _continuum_ of cognition, a general
non-attention knowing of external world and _ego_, which we continually
carry with us. Into this field of exertionless cognitive life
will-effort penetrates now to one point, now to another, seizing upon
and enlarging the most interesting and significant facts. As I am
sitting in my chair, I am dimly aware, without will tension, of a large
field of varied objects, any one of which I may emphasize, attend to,
when incited by sufficient interest. Practically exertionless awareness
is a constant _substratum_ for developed consciousness; here, in the
world of habit, it is always at home, and moves with great ease and
smallest friction; but the process of learning, the work of adding to
mental possessions and enlarging the _totum objectivum_ and _totum
subjectivum_, this is attention for complex consciousness.

We must note this, that attention is any general alertness toward
cognizing, though no actual cognition be attained. Cognitive straining
without result is truly a form of attention. A man listening for a sound
is equally attentive with a man listening to a sound. It is not
necessary for an attention to have something to attend to. Attention is
effort at cognizing as well as in cognizing. The stupid boy is often the
most attentive, the most strenuous in cognitive effort, yet there may be
little apprehension. In fact, we must recognise that in cognitive, as in
muscular activity, effort may be excessive, and defeat its own end. When
suddenly awaking in the night we often strain sense to the utmost, but
with no result; nothing is heard or seen. In this, as in some other
cases, we must notice that attention is not necessarily delineation.
While generally a particularizing effort of cognition, attention may
sometimes occur as mere general cognition stress.

If attention consists in cognitive effort, whether successful or not,
what is the nature of the effort to attend? A student says, I try to
attend, but I cannot; I cannot hold my mind down to anything. Professor
James remarks, “In fact, it is only to the _effort to attend_, not to
the mere _attending_, that we are seriously tempted to ascribe
spontaneous power” (_Psychology_, p. 451). But it is obvious in such
phrases attention means simply cognition, and may be substituted for it,
whereas we have just pointed out that attention is both the effort
toward and in cognizing act. Literally interpreted, then, the problem is
whether we can make an effort to make an effort at cognizing. In great
lassitude or exhaustion we lose control of ourselves, we are unable to
exercise volition either as attention or otherwise. We recognise and
lament the fact to ourselves, we feel our powerlessness, but I hardly
think we do ever really make an effort at effort. At the very first
stage of recovery from such state of utter non-volition, the will act is
always toward definite sense adjustments, or in holding to and promoting
certain thoughts and representations, and we thus have real attention.
The utter rout of psychoses, which once possessed us, we now conquer and
control for our ends and interests.

Attention to attention is obviously distinctively different from this
phase. We can and do attend to attention as psychic fact. An act of
attention cannot, indeed, attend to itself, but the volition act in
consciousness of consciousness, as consciousness of some attention act,
is very properly an attention to attention. If I am looking attentively
at a man, I cannot, by the very nature of attention, be simultaneously
volitionally introspective of, _i.e._, attentive to the looking
attentively. When actively sensing light, I cannot at the same moment
attend to this attention, because attention is always concentrative of
will. To be volitionally conscious of light is one moment, and to be
volitionally conscious of this light consciousness is another moment.
The attention attended to is not in process at the same moment as the
attention. This does not deny that we have simultaneous spontaneous
introspection of attentions. Introspection, like sensation, perception,
ideation, is attention only so far as it is effortful.

In his recent treatise on psychology Professor James discusses in an
interesting and suggestive way the relation of ideation to attention,
maintaining that “ideational preparation ... is concerned in all
attentive acts.” Attention is “anticipatory imagination” or
“preperception” which prepares the mind for what it is to experience.
Thus the schoolboy, listening for the clock to strike twelve,
anticipates in imagination and is prepared to hear perfectly the very
first sound of the striking.

It is undoubtedly true that in the form of attention we term expectant,
where we are awaiting _some given impression_, there is a representing,
antedating experience, which may be a preparatory preperception. But
with a wrong imaging of what is to be experienced there is hindrance, as
when in a dark, quiet room we are led to expect sensation of light but
actually receive sensation of sound. Very often, indeed, our
anticipations make us unprepared for experience. Further, the
experiments adduced by Professor James from Wundt and Helmholtz are in
the single form of expectant attention, and we must remark that in these
experiments the reagent is also experimenter, and this introduces a new
attention, consciousness of consciousness, and that of a peculiar kind,
which complicates an already complex consciousness. In general we may
say that experimentally incited consciousness is artificial, at least as
far as it feels itself as such, and for certain points like simple
attention this tends to vitiate results. Self-experimentation or
experiment on those conscious of it as such may mislead in certain
cases, and must, so far as this element of consciousness of experiment
is not allowed for. In physical science things always act naturally,
whether with observation or experiment, but in psychology observation,
other things being equal, is more trustworthy than experiment.

In all cases of expectant or experimentally expectant attention, the
attention does not, however, lie in the expectancy or in the imaging as
such, but it is merely the will effort concerned in these operations.
Yet as we may expect without effort, and preconceive without volition,
attention is necessarily involved in neither. A perception or a
preperception is an attention only as accomplished by will with effort,
but only an unattention when purely involuntary. Professor James’s use
of attention as preperception brings us back to the common idea of
attention, as any consciousness which cognizes something. This is so
inbred in thought and language that it is most difficult to avoid using
the term in this sense. Many psychologists, like Mr. James and Mr.
Sully, frequently mention attention as a will phenomenon, but they do
not treat it under will, and they constantly return to the cognition
meaning. Höffding, however, treats attention under psychology of will.
Attention as the exercise of will in building up and maintaining
cognitive activity, is naturally treated under cognition; but it is on
the whole safer and better to discuss attention under will so as to keep
it sharply distinguished from the presentation form which it vitalizes.
I have endeavoured to hold the term strictly to this sense, yet it is
not unlikely I may sometimes unwittingly countenance the common
confusion, but trust the instances will be few.

When we have, then, a case of expectant attention, we must distinguish
the attention in the imaging from the attention in the actual cognizing.
It is, indeed, true for us almost invariably that cognitive strain
without immediate realization is incentive to ideating. In listening in
the night in vain for a sound we hear in imagination many sounds, and we
form preparatory ideas of what we are to hear. Sense-adjustments call up
a train of sensations in ideal form. But it is obvious that low
intelligences which have no power of expectancy or ideation do yet
really attend. The very first cognitions and all early cognitions by
their very newness and difficulty were attentions long before ideation
was evolved. With low organisms, as cognitive power extends only to the
present in time and space, immediacy of reaction is imperatively
demanded, and every tension of cognitive apparatus is immediately
directive of motor apparatus, so that suitable motion is at once
accomplished. The cognition, though dim and evanescent factor, is yet
powerfully energized, and so a true attention. Always with lowest
sentiencies, and often with higher, pain is suddenly realized without
anticipation, followed quickly by attention as strong effort to cognize
the nature and quality of the pain-giver and so to effectually get rid
of pain-giver and pain.

Preliminary idea, then, cannot occur in early attentions and in late
attentions, it is by no means necessary. It is said that we see only
what we look for, but it must be answered that seeing commonly happens
without any looking for. The kindergarten child, Professor James to the
contrary notwithstanding, is not confined in his seeing to merely those
things which he has been told to see and whose names have been given
him. A child continually asks, What is that? and is quick to discern the
new and strange. He accomplishes a wide variety of attentions without
ideas and gives himself almost entirely to immediate presentations.

To be sure, every one sees only what he is prepared to see, only what is
made possible for him by his mental constitution as determined by his
own pre-experience and the experience of his ancestors, but this does
not signify ideation. Every cognizing is conditioned by the past, but
this does not call for a reawakening and projecting in ideal form at
every instance of cognitive effort before any real cognition is reached.

In fact many, if not the most of our attentions, are merely
intensifyings of some present cognition, of some cognitive psychosis
which has simply come or happened. Take the instance of attention to
marginal and retinal images; this certainly does not always imply
pre-perception, the forming of an idea of what we are to see, though in
the cases mentioned by Professor James it may. For example, I was
writing the above seated with my profile to the window when I became
suddenly aware, through the physiological agency of a marginal image, of
a moving object to my right. This perception of bare, undefined object
was spontaneous, a pure given; I exercised no will in attaining it, and
so the state of cognition was not an attention. However, by attending,
by intensifying the cognition by will effort, I perceive that the
indefinite object is a man walking on the sidewalk, who is of a certain
height, clothed in a certain way, etc. I do not trace the least ideation
in the whole process; the slight attending as act of will did not imply
any anterior or posterior idea or representation. The reason for the
will act was the intrinsic interest of movement, and this intrinsic
interest arises in the fact that moving objects have had for all life a
special pleasure-pain significance; the moving object is the most
dangerous, and so motion perceived has become ingrained in mind as a
special stimulant of attention. This habit of attentiveness to things in
motion survives and continues for cases where it is of no use and even
of harm; thus, in the present instance, it diverts me from my work. It
is obvious that attention often occurs in the same way for other senses
without preliminary idea.

Is there such a state as negative attention or active inattention? Is
will activity in cognition always positive merely, and never existing as
direct repression or weakening of acts? To some psychologists negative
attention means only that certain elements in a consciousness are
overshadowed by the dominancy of some single factor; that, owing to the
limited capacity of mind, many elements can exist only in enfeebled form
beside their stronger neighbours. If the life blood of mind, will, is
largely absorbed by some particular form or mode, all other forms must
suffer in consequence.

It is, of course, obvious that the amount of will force which is put
into some given cognition is potentially or actually withdrawn from
other factors which then, however, are more justly termed unattentions
than inattentions. But is the withdrawal of energy attained only by
transference? May it not be attained by direct repression and
suppression? When we wish to weaken some particular cognition, is it to
be done only by specially energizing some other cognition? It would seem
on general principles rather strange that we can, under stimulus of
interest, increase our energizing of any given cognition but cannot
reduce it except indirectly by transference. This would mean that the
sum total of actual will force remains constant as far as subject to
voluntary control, and it is only by subdivision into many channels that
any actual diversion is secured. Will force may be withdrawn and
transferred, but not an atom of it can be directly suppressed. But can I
not directly repress a troublesome thought or a painful sight? If by a
great effort of will I keep my eyes closed to some horrible but
fascinating sight, this is a true active inattention, the exactly
opposite exertion to holding my eyes open and fixed upon my book for
reading when very sleepy, which process is always termed attention. When
our energy is going in some comparatively undesirable way we often do
simply switch on to another track, but often also we shut off steam and
reverse. Instead of direct promotion or indirect inhibition there is
direct inhibition or often both forms of inhibition combined. We may,
under pressure of interest, directly weaken any cognition, untensify,
check and reduce the will effort involved by immediate relaxation. In
putting ourselves to sleep we relax with effort, we reduce and stop all
attentions. In awaking we often go through a reverse process. The
attitude of any cognition is either by and through will, or with
comparative indifference and no intervention of will or with will
directly against it, which three states we term attention, unattention,

Negative attention is then, I think, a real activity, a will force which
directly hinders and crushes out the unwelcome in consciousness, while
positive attention is will force vitalizing and strengthening the
pleasant. In conflict of interests these forms are complementary, and
attention is here a double will-effort, both the effort at withdrawing
energy from one point, and the effort at applying it in a new point. In
most cases attention is both resistance and insistance. Even in simple
forms the natural tendency to inertia constitutes a constant counter
interest to any particular activity-interest. Attention then is always
resistance to this natural inertia _plus_ the direct energy in effecting
the particular activity. But in advanced consciousness there is always a
multitude of difficulties in the way of specializing cognition, a great
variety of distractions to be resisted, all which, added to the definite
exertion required in the special work, makes the ordinary attention in
human consciousness a very complex affair. A student engaged on a
mathematical problem is incessantly driving out distracting thoughts and
positively fixing his mind upon the problem. Resistance is manifold,
according to the speciality of the task—the more special, the more
distractions—and the direct concentration is also a real and direct

We may then, I think, see the importance of both positive and negative
acts in attention. As counter to the theory that positive attention is
the only real form, we might plausibly argue the opposite, that it is
only the reverse side of negative attention. If we shut out all but one
element from consciousness, do we not thereby bring that one into bolder
relief and so indirectly strengthen it? May not all intensification of
cognition be thus but an indirect result of negative attention? No, for
even when all distractions are kept away, there is the inherent
difficulty of the act _plus_ the inertia, the general disinclination to
effort. Positive attention may rarely appear as practically pure, and
rarely also negative attention. Consciousness may sometimes consist of
merely pure will tension as keeping off all defined activities; and
persons of great will power sometimes achieve this in putting themselves
to sleep. Consciousness is a blank field, tensely kept, but perfectly so
only for a very brief time.

As to the origin of attention, it must arise with cognition itself. The
past act of cognition was, as we have seen (p. 61), a powerful will act,
an achievement through struggle, and therefore an attention. The history
of cognition and of its ultimate development into the highest forms is a
story of incessant and fierce competition in the struggle of life. Man’s
power of sense, perception and thought is an inheritance from an immense
deal of will effort by untold millions of ancestors. The necessities of
existence compelled an alertness, a general cognitive strain, which
effected progress and discovery, the attainment and integration of new
and most valuable forms of experience which have been handed down to
later generations. The earliest cognitive life is then almost entirely
attentive; cognition does not _come_, it must be _attained_. Gradually,
however, some low form like general sensation is so integrated, and
requires less and less attention, till it _comes_, is _given_, with
comparatively no effort, and a state of unattention thus appears in
consciousness. The child repeats quickly, easily, without attention, the
evolution of the past, and this spontaneous re-enactment continues up to
the full point of hereditary integration. Without effort the child is
carried on at the incitement of instinctive inherent interest up to a
certain comparatively high grade of experience. But heredity _momentum_
gradually ceases, and if there is to be individual progress, attention
must come in. Thus, intellectual education is fundamentally a developing
of attention. Conscious control of cognition, both positively and
negatively, becomes more and more efficient, and the progress of the
race is dependent on exceptional attention in exceptional
individuals—geniuses. Attention becomes more and more limited and
specialized, and a minute subdivision of labour results.

Now, primitive attention is not as Mr. Ward, for example, would make it,
a primordial fact of mind, but as a cognitive form of will or will form
of cognition—it is essentially secondary. However, Mr. Ward, in his
article in the _Encyclopædia Britannica_, makes a peculiarly advanced
form of attention the initial fact of consciousness, namely, by the
non-voluntary act of mind being conscious of changes in itself. But mind
is not at first a something which is inevitably cognizant of its own
experience, but it merely is a state, does not have states, and is not
consciously aware of them as such. There is, for instance, pain, but no
consciousness of the pain as fact of experience. Mind is not primitively
a something acted on, reacting, and cognizant of these self-movements,
but merely effortful will activity attaining snatches of cognition at
the pressure of pain and pleasure. It seems, indeed, tolerably plain
that apperception is not necessary to consciousness as such, and the
general law of evolution from simple to complex leads us to suppose that
consciousness was not at first with any apperceptive process. Changes,
whether as occurring or as being brought about, did not imply an
apperception taking cognizance of them. But however this may be, certain
it is that apperception, as consciousness of self-change or as
consciousness of consciousness, must as a form of cognition arise in
will effort like any other forms, must be a real attention, not a
so-called non-voluntary attention. We do not see any reason why this
form of cognition should be an exception to the general law that every
step of consciousness is an acquirement and achievement determined by
the struggle for existence.

The relation of attention to feeling has already been touched upon,
especially as related to interest. Attention, like other volitions, is
aroused by feeling, primarily as direct pleasures and pains, secondarily
by the ideal forms of these, that is, interest. Low organisms are
incited to attentions as simple sensation-cognitions only by present or
immediately impending pain or pleasure. Direct pain does not interest or
include interest in itself. There must be, not merely pain, but
cognition of it as element in experience, before there is interest,
which is always _in_ something. Interest implies representation, the
sense of the value for experience of any given thing. What pleases or
pains interests only so far as perceived as pleasurable-painful; the
thing perceived as source of feeling, or as in any wise related to it,
arouses interest. “I am pleased or pained,” does not equal, “I am
interested”; but only so far as I have cognizance of the object,
pleasing or paining, am I interested in it. The interesting is what
touches my interests, what affects my experience, what potentially
reaches or touches me. It is obviously to the great advantage of the
organism that pleasure-pain object merely perceived should move, excite,
or interest, which brings in attention to the thing, and so fuller
knowledge and preparedness for action. Interest, then, is practically
equivalent to emotion. “It interests me,” is equal to, “It arouses my
emotion.” The interesting picture, book, man, animal, etc., is that
which awakens emotion, and thus incites attention. What affects me or
moves me, interests me. Interest is generally used to denote favourable
emotion of rather low intensity, as when I say, “He interests me”; but
as a psychological term it may well be used in the broad sense to denote
any emotion so far as it stimulates attention. The function of interest
lies wholly in its effect upon attention, it is always a feeling
stimulant to the will act of cognition. I do not exert my cognitive
powers unless I have some interest at stake.

There are, of course, many degrees of interest. Often interest is so
slight as not to rouse attention, being too weak to overcome natural
inertia to will effort or unable to deflect will as bent by some
conflicting interest. A lesson is to be learned, but the interest,
often extrinsic, does not rise to attention point till possibly a
few minutes before recitation. The interest, fear of failure, may
then be sufficiently strong to induce very vigorous attention, and
within a certain range the stronger the interest, the stronger the
attention. Yet at a certain point of intensity emotion begins to
derange will activity and to hinder and even destroy attention. Fear
which has become fright extinguishes attention. Self-controlling
power of attention is lost in a flood of emotion. Yet ungovernably
intense emotion is no longer properly termed interest, which always
implies cognitive power. Interest is properly comparatively mild
emotion state, which includes definite cognitive element. But
interest may be not only at or below attention point, but it may be
of such an intensity and kind as to do away with need of attention,
securing a spontaneous, or practically spontaneous, cognition. Thus,
my interest in a book may at first be insufficient, _i.e._,
practically _nil_, to constrain attention in any degree; it may
become so strong that I make constant cognitive effort, and finally,
as it becomes profound and absorbing, I cognize without any
attention. When anything becomes sufficiently interesting, interest
acts of itself directly upon cognition, which is then performed
without attention. Interest frequently increases to the spontaneous
cognition point, carries cognition in it; but we must remember,
nevertheless, that all cognition had its origin in attention.
Interest acquired and become habitual demands less and less force of
attention, so that our customary interests finally awake cognition
without any attention act. If given cognitions always required the
original will effort,—attention,—intellect could not progress,
delicate and far-reaching reactions could not be initiated, for they
could have no basis. The force of inherent hereditary interests
makes itself felt throughout all advanced psychic life. A survey of
the cognitions of any single day would show us that by far the
greater number are by this type and degree of interest. The common
cognitions and adjustments of every-day life in walking, sitting
down, and in matters of routine, are mostly of this type.

It is tolerably plain that the relation of feeling to cognition cannot
be expressed by any single formula, and it is certainly far from true
that sensation or other cognition is inversely as the intensity of
feeling. If feeling, either as simple pleasure-pain or as interest, is
the incentive of attention, which is the primary measure of cognition;
then intensity of cognition is directly as intensity of feeling for a
certain range, and this is also true where attention has lapsed. The law
of inverse ratio applies only when feeling has risen beyond the point of
highest efficiency, when there is over pressure, and mind runs wild
beyond self-control and attention. Then we should, of course, find at a
certain point, if we could make exact measurement, geometrical decrease
in cognition for arithmetical increase in feeling, but ratio would
constantly change. The centre and spring of any high psychic life is
interest, and as interest increases intellection and volition increases
_pari passu_. In cases of decline, where interest or capacity for
emotion is lost, psychic life as a whole dissolves and disappears. On
the contrary, the progress of mind is in the strengthening and extension
of interest.

Interest leads to attention in the forms mentioned, but it seems also a
mode of attention when, at the bidding of interest, we not only promote
or inhibit some cognition, but some particular feeling. In a fit of
anger we may be prompted by prudence or conscience to forcibly and
directly restrain and abate it. I may similarly maintain an amiable
frame of mind as opposed to crossness. To repel a fit of anger of course
implies repelling the representations which enter into the angry
emotion, and so it is that the repressing or stimulating all emotions,
by reason of their representative nature, necessitates a will effort
with reference to the cognitive element, and thus an attention.

It is commonly believed that attention to a feeling intensifies it—that
the more we attend to our feelings the stronger they are, and the less
attention we pay to them the weaker they are. A soldier wounded on the
field of battle heeds not the pain in the excitement of the conflict.
But the truth is in this case that he has no pain so long as he feels
none, and that he does not attend to the pain signifies simply that pain
does not become a psychic fact, but is wholly physiological, and so not
a subject for psychological discussion. This is a case of the confusing
use of attention for consciousness in general which we have before
criticised. Very often, indeed, such an expression as, “The more he
attends to his pain the more he has,” means simply, the more pain he has
the more he feels, an identical proposition. But we must also
discriminate between attention in a feeling and attention to a feeling.
I work myself up into a passion by strenuously dwelling on
representations involved in anger—this is an attention in a feeling; but
attention to anger would be self-observational effort. The former does
not involve consciousness of the feeling, the latter is nothing more
than strenuous consciousness of the feeling. Men are often angry without
being conscious of it or but dimly so, and attention to the feeling
would consist in intensifying by will effort this consciousness. When a
person says, “I was mad and I knew it,” he asserts the distinctness of
the acts and that the first does not always imply the second. This
cognition originally, like all cognition, required volition, and it is
still subject to volitional control and emphasis, that is attention,
even in advanced consciousness. Attention to a feeling is cognitive
effort in attaining or strengthening consciousness of feeling, hence is
but a mode of apperceptive or introspective effort.

We must distinguish sharply then between the observing act and the
observed feeling, between a cognition of consciousness of pain and a
pain consciousness, and we must note that attention may be either,
neither, or both. Apperception has become such a habit with higher human
consciousness that it is commonly exercised without attention, and so
has seemed to some as a necessary fact of all consciousness, an
anthropomorphism, which seems to us erroneous. When we are conscious we
are generally conscious that we are conscious; when a man has toothache
there is not only pain, ache, toothache, but consciousness of this as
fact of experience; but this does not establish apperception as fact of
all consciousness.

Is it true now that the more we are conscious of a consciousness the
less we have of the latter? Certainly the more conscious we are of it
does not imply having the more of it, though we may say with truth that
within a limited range the greater and intenser the consciousness, the
greater the facility for consciousness of consciousness. A mental fact
must have a certain definiteness and prominence before it is clearly and
easily cognizable. However, speaking of the effect of apperception upon
the consciousness apperceived, it must be evident that it is always a
minifying and not a magnifying. Consciousness is self-divided when there
is both experience and consciousness of experience, hence a loss of
force for the consciousness cognized. A feeling self-consciously felt is
weakened thereby. The feelings we are most conscious of are of
comparatively low intensities. In very intense feelings we lose or
forget ourselves: we do not know what we are doing or feeling.

If now we make the consciousness of consciousness effortful, it is plain
that we diminish the consciousness cognized in still greater measure. A
consciousness of consciousness cannot be forwarded except at expense of
general mental capacity, and so as diverting force from the act
observed, whatever this be. Attention to a feeling must then on general
principles diminish the feeling, and that in a marked measure. The
psychologist who is always twigging his own consciousness to find out
what is going on there must often be surprised to find nothing there. It
is astonishing how fast feeling disappears when we begin to examine and
analyse it. The emotion fades the moment we turn attention to it. We
find that in psychological matters as elsewhere that we cannot have our
cake and eat it too. We murder to dissect. Apperceptive effort is never
intensification in the consciousness cognized, but cognition and
pleasure-pain feeling as a consciousness cognized lose in force, just as
in the body, an undue exaltation of one function is always a depressing
of others by withdrawal of force. The more conscious I am of my fear the
less I fear. While this law of withdrawal of force is obviously the case
when consciousness is at its fullest capacity, yet it may be said that
apperception in other phases acts as stimulant to waken latent forces,
just as in the body stimulus of one function is often stimulus of all,
though we doubt that apperception is original and permanent function in
consciousness. But still in such cases it is a new consciousness which
is stimulated and strengthened and not the consciousness which is being
cognized, and still more then is there decrease in the latter. A given
feeling is never increased by attentive consciousness of it. When a
feeling is said to be intensified by attention to it, we may suspect
either inaccurate analysis or misuse of terms. This, of course, does not
deny that within a certain range _immanent_ attention increases
pleasure, etc., for example, the more actively we taste an orange the
more taste pleasure we get.

We note in passing the very interesting psychological paradox that the
more we view ourselves the less we have to view, the principle of which
has been set forth above. We know well that the very reflective and
self-conscious have little personal force and individual quality.
Moreover the self-conscious stage in youth is precisely the period when
there is the least real self to be conscious of. A strong multiplex mind
is rarely very self-observant.

Finally we have to remark upon the way in which attention may be
divisive of cognition. Boswell makes Dr. Johnson to say, “If we read
without inclination, half the mind is employed in fixing the attention;
so that there is but one half to be employed on what we read.” But
admitting the necessity of intrinsic interest, this does not do away
with attention. Attention hinders rather than helps cognition only when
it becomes wearing strain, as in reading when much fatigued. But
attention as fulness of vigorous normal will activity gives a force and
value to cognition which it would not otherwise have, and often makes
its very existence possible. The greatest, most significant cognitions
in the mental life of any individual are those which are achieved at the
top of endeavour. Real knowledge as advancement and acquirement is
always the fruit of long training and attention.

The act of attention is painful and therefore is not exercised by lower
organisms, at least, only under absolute necessity. Often the pain from
attention is so great that the individual prefers to suffer than to
exert himself cognitively and so help to remove pain-giver. It is only
under the greatest pressure that new knowledge and new ideas are
acquired, and the history of mind shows a series of _tours de force_
achieved only in moments of direst need. The strengthening and the
holding of cognitive powers to a given point by effort of will is
peculiarly distasteful and painful activity. All minds tend toward
inaction or toward the regions of effortless action where overwhelming
interest carries them freely along. Attention, while the most
advantageous of actions, is yet most irksome and painful. It would seem
to us at first blush that if pleasure and not pain had attached to the
attentive act from the beginning, the evolution of mind would have been
accomplished in the merest fraction of the time actually required. It
would have been the difference between going down a steep incline rather
than up. Why progress should only be realized through painful effort and
struggle is a problem which has vexed the thought of man throughout
history but upon which psychology has little light to throw. Our present
concern is to simply emphasize the fact that cognitive act as attention
is always painful, and if the act of cognition is performed without pain
we may promptly deny this to be an attention. This is, of course, far
from asserting that all cognizings with pain are attentions.

                               CHAPTER XV

Popular and scientific observation agree that a very interesting and
important phenomenon in consciousness is the sense of self as involving
such feelings as pride, shame, self-satisfaction, and self-disgust. And
the evolutionary psychologist is bound to consider self-consciousness in
its rise and development as a life factor. What is its significance for
life? How and when did it arise as answering a demand in the struggle
for existence? Further, the psychologist is bound to clearly define and
analyse the self-sense as psychic fact, to understand just what it is,
as well as what it seems. The nature of the self-sense must be carefully
studied by introspection, and its elements and quality determined.
However, the psychist has nothing, of course, to do with the self which
is sensed, an inquiry which belongs alone to the metaphysician.

Self-consciousness has been throughout all our discussion assumed and
implied as factor in emotion life. Object is not merely perceived, for
this in itself has no life value, but is at once interpreted in
experience terms, is self-related, and emotion arises and stimulates
suitable will-response in bodily activities. Thus all response to
environment through cognition of environment means with sense of the
environment as its own. Thus, and thus only, is sense of environment
rendered efficacious, for bare objectivity, which signifies nothing, has
no value for life. Under the conditions of existence in the struggle of
life object cognition could not originate because it has no function.
The theory of natural selection then requires that object and subject
cognition be regarded as complementary psychic factors, coincident in
their origin, and developing in strict correlation.

This corollary from the theory of natural selection, implying a
self-relating act in all cognition under the condition of struggle for
existence, is seen to be a likely hypothesis so far as we can judge from
the action of low psychisms. Any one who closely observes animals must
recognise that self-interest determines their cognitive activities and
in turn is roused by it. The alert listening and looking of a squirrel
is obviously impelled by fear and awakens fear. The object perceived is
constantly interpreted for its experience value, that is, there is
constant self-reference. This is the type of all cognition under natural
selection, _i.e._, where use dominates.

Assuming then psychism as mode of adaptive reaction, we see the
necessity for the correlation of the sense of self with the sense of
things. An experiencer blind to self, who has no awareness of self, but
merely blindly strives, has little advantage, for it possesses no
self-directivity and no power of intelligent action. Its adaptation is
purely general; to be specific adaptation it must appreciate differences
in environment in their differential action upon itself, an appreciation
of the objective in subjective terms. It is probable then that the first
knowledge was the apprehension of thing as painer and then of the thing
as pleasurer. A discrimination of the two is attained, probably tactile,
as hard and soft. The subjective import of the thing is at once realized
from these signs.

It is obvious that the origin of self-consciousness must be placed very
early in psychic life. With organisms which have but a few flashes of
consciousness during their whole individual existence, whose whole
experience is a mere sum of separate pleasure-pain thrills and blind
efforts, there is neither sense of objectivity nor subjectivity. These
very lowest psychisms have experience, but no sense of experience;
pleasures and pains possess them, but they do not possess these. But if
mentality arises and progresses solely by virtue of its function in
saving and profiting the individual living organism, if the end of
psychosis is this self-conservation of the bodily whole in its vitality,
there is an imperative demand for self-cognizance in order to self-care.
Under the law of struggle and survival of the fittest, the organism
which does not look out _for itself_ must go to the wall or be in the
lowest grade. Self-conservation is closely linked with self-sense. Hence
the individual very early acquires some sense of itself in its
environment, and so acts and conducts itself. Thus under adverse forces
it learns to know itself, to realize its own place and power, and to
feel fear, anger, and so to appropriately respond to any environment.
Thus is secured manifold and special response to multiform conditions,
whereas in the organism which has only pure subjectivity of pain the
response would be uniform.

The condition of an _ego_ being sensed or known is, of course, that
there is an ego to be sensed. All experience is an individual’s
experience, is personal, but this does not constitute egoism as an
experience. The experiencer must have experience before he can know
himself as experience centre, that is, there must be experience before
there can be experience of experience. But the amount of consciousness
and integration thereof which is required for self-cognizance is
probably very small. The dynamic organic whole of psychic life, which we
denominate _ego_, has almost from the start self-consciousness, and
grows by self-integration. By the conjoint interaction of subject and
object cognition with feeling and will elements egohood or personality
is gradually developed to the largeness which we see in the human mind.
Experience which does not self-integrate is scarce worthy the name, and
it is noticeable that we usually associate self-consciousness with the
term. “Having an experience” signifies a self-related psychic fact.
Given the first germ and experience constantly returns upon itself and
self-develops. It anticipates itself, experiences the experienceable,
and so serves life. A psychic individual without sense of his own
individuality is practically undiscoverable and impossible. It is
perhaps not too much to say that psychically egohood really begins when
experience cognizes and organizes itself; the self is made by the sense
of self. At first only an occasional achievement upon a very meagre
basis of psychosis, the self-sense rose only through intense pain and
effort, but has now become so built into experience that, with human
minds at least, it seems constant and spontaneous factor. Just what this
means we have to note when we come to analyze the self-sense.

While the ego-sense is to be regarded as a reflection of experience upon
itself, this reflection is far from being abstract, or general, or
spontaneous. The self-sense is wrought out in the direct commerce with
objects demanded by the exigencies of existence, a particular and
concrete apprehension is produced. That is, mind is no purely internal
development nor yet a mechanical impression. Development is forced upon
it in a world of competition and danger, but yet this development is
always active response. The self-sense then by which the individual
becomes aware of its own activities and feelings as its own, originates,
like all other new modes, by stress and strain as a most valuable
psychosis in the struggle of existence.

The primitive self-consciousness is evidently naïve, that is, there is
no consciousness of the self-consciousness. The low psychism is
conscious of itself, knows what is to its own advantage, and is
absorbingly selfish, but it is wholly unconscious of its self regard; so
also with very young children we see an egoism which is perfectly
unconscious and naïve, often humorously so to the observant adult who
perceives the utter simplicity of its selfishness. The embarrassing
self-consciousness of the boy and girl in their teens, a conscious
self-consciousness, is not yet achieved. The immediate consciousness of
self cannot by itself embarrass, it must be complicated with reflection
and with cognizance of other _ego_'s; but later forms we do not need to
discuss here.

In the simplest form of self-consciousness what are the necessary
elements? and what is the essential nature of self-consciousness as
psychic fact?

In the first place, then, what is the nature of self-consciousness as
cognition? If cognition be awareness of object, what is self or subject
cognition? Is subject merely a kind of object? Is self-consciousness a
peculiar conscious mode, or is it merely of the same type as the general
cognition of object? Of course we wish to consider such questions here
simply in the light of psychic fact.

It is often considered that self-cognitions are really in no way unique,
that the subject sensed is merely the individual’s body or his mental
powers. And it is undoubtedly true that subject is always some object,
the subject cognition is apprehension of some object either corporeal or
mental; yet self-cognition is never merely an object seen as object. The
psychic act of self-cognition is a peculiar qualifying of the object
cognition; the individual who merely knows body or mind has not
self-sense, he must be aware of body and mind as his own. The essence of
self-sense is not in the object as so perceived, but in the
subjectifying reference. While the _ego_ then is always constituted as
object, _ego_ sense as psychic fact is more than mere object cognition.
The psychic self as object, as some mode or modes of consciousness, has
naturally been emphasized. Thus the self may be defined as that which is
subject to will. Yet the least reflection shows us that for self-sense
this must imply _my_ will, and so assume what it would explain. A
consciousness of will act as effective psychic fact is not _ego_ sense.
A cognition of effort or _nisus_ is not the sense of self save so far as
the effort is known or felt as _mine_. And so in any other objectivist
definition of self as psychic object, the self in its real nature as
psychic act vanishes. Thus the consciousness of pleasure-pain capacity,
while closely related to self-sense, does not make it, for we have to
add that the capacity must be known as one’s own. In every endeavour
then to define or analyze the self as psychic fact we must either
eliminate it or presuppose it, and this must be taken as very
significant. It means at least that this _stating_ it—being merely
objectifying act—destroys the subjectifying which is its essence. The
radical distinction and polar opposition of subjectifying and
objectifying is therein suggested, and the difficulty of all fruitful
discussion and scientific investigation, which is objectifying, is made

The objective cognition of a self can only mean cognition of an object
capable of experience. Objects are thus discriminated into two
classes—experiencers and non-experiencers, subject-objects and bare
objects; but this is not self-sense whereby the experiencer directly
knows _his own_ experience as such, but merely sense of a self as any
individual object experiencing. This objective definition of a self is
simple enough. It merely asserts that any object which at any moment of
its persistence or existence has a consciousness or experience of any
kind is thereby a self. But this is obviously not a definition of the
self and self-sense as psychic act, nor does it explain it. The
scientific statement that individual objects exist as experiencers, and
so are personalities, or _ego_'s, does not clear up the self-sense
whereby the individual is aware of his own individuality as such.
Egohood as selfishness in this objective sense, and ego-hood as
self-experience, as a feeling and knowing myself, are quite distinct. To
the question, What makes an object—this particular object, body with
limbs and various organs capable of feeling pain-pleasure—what makes
this _myself_? the only answer is relation not, be it noted, to
experience, but to _my_ experience felt as such. And what makes an
experience mine is that I consciously experience it; not merely that I
experience—that experience occurs to me, or in me, as objective fact—but
that I consciously experience, subjectively realize the experience as
_mine_; not merely as realizing experience as experience, but as _mine
own_. This ceaseless circle into which we fall in trying to define _ego_
is hinted at in various common expressions. A child even will often
remark, “I did not do it, my hand did it”; “you did not touch _me_, you
touched my _foot_,” etc. That is, even the most cursory observation
asserts that object in itself is not subject, that the me is not mine.

While, then, we must regard self-cognition as a _genus_ by itself and as
unanalyzable simple psychic fact, arising early upon a very slight basis
of experience, and continually developing as most important psychosis
for life, we may yet distinguish what is involved with it, what modes of
consciousness it presupposes, and from which it yet is distinct.

We might speak of ego-sense as an experience knowing itself. But since
cognition implies always a knowing and the known, an experience cannot,
and does not, know itself. The consciousness knowing is never the
consciousness known; and to speak of a consciousness as aware of itself
is misleading and inaccurate. To speak of the cognizance of a pain as
pain self-cognizant is an erroneous expression, for the pain does not
know itself; but it is known by a cognition which is not it. To be aware
of pain as such is awareness of consciousness, but is, interpreted
strictly, in no wise self-consciousness. I may even speak of a
self-conscious self-consciousness. This does not really mean what it
directly implies, but can only mean a self-consciousness _plus_ a
consciousness of it as one’s own; that is, the self-consciousness is not
actually conscious of itself. Even if a consciousness could both be and
know its being as an absolute, simple act, yet this would not be
self-sense, an individual realizing its own individuality, but merely a
single psychic act existing, and at the same time conscious of its
existence. Self-consciousness is more and other than any consciousness
which is self-conscious, if that were possible.

Consciousness of consciousness is not, then, self-consciousness. It is,
indeed, conceivable that an _ego_, in objective sense, might know his
own consciousness not as _his own_—the act of self-consciousness—but
merely as consciousness, and he would thus exist as an individual, yet
without subjective individuality. Yet, as matter of fact, consciousness
of consciousness always carries self-consciousness with it. If I become
conscious of a consciousness which is my own, I know it, not merely as a
consciousness, but as my own consciousness; if I am conscious of anger,
I am conscious of being angry.

Hume, in his chapter on Personal Identity, observes, “For my part, when
I enter most intimately into what I call _myself_, I always stumble on
some particular perception or other of heat or cold, light or shade,
love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch _myself_ at any time
without a perception, and never can observe anything but the
perception.” This is a good illustration of a futile and mistaken
attempt to absorb self-consciousness in consciousness of consciousness.
Of course Hume was not the hypothetical _ego_ which we have instanced as
purely objective observer of his own consciousness; when he was
conscious of any consciousness, as a heat or light sensation, a pleasure
or a pain, he was assuredly, like other mortals, conscious of it as his
own. The sense of mine-ness as psychic fact he should not have ignored,
whatever might be his conclusions as to the _myself_ But metaphysical
psychology is always apt to swerve from fact.

The close connection of self-consciousness with consciousness of
consciousness leads often to their confusion. Thus under the head
“Illusions of Self-consciousness,” J. M. Baldwin, in his treatise on the
Senses and Intellect, says, “Of these subjective illusions we may
mention _emotional illusions_, wrong estimates of our emotional states,
as when an angry man declares that he was never more cool in his life.”
This instance is plainly an illusion of introspection, not of
self-inspection; there is a mistake in the consciousness of
consciousness. Wundt, in defining self-sense as perception of the unity
of experience, falls into the same confusion.

It points to the fundamental value and place of these cognition factors,
that when we say any one is conscious we imply them all. Thus I say of
some one rendered unconscious by an accident, “He slowly recovered
consciousness,” by which I mean, became aware of himself and his
surroundings with awareness of his own mental activities. He is
consciously conscious, objectively conscious, and self-conscious. All
this makes up for us being conscious, and is for cognitive mind such a
simple organic basal movement as circulatory-nervous-motor function is
for body.

An organism must, of course, have had some psychosis before it can
become conscious of it, and of it as its own, and this primitive
psychosis we regard as pure pleasure-pain series. But in the struggle
for existence the organism is driven out of this subjectivity to
cognize its environment as related to itself, to apprehend and
comprehend and so to feel about itself—emotion—and so led to
intelligent will activity as real self-activity. At the very first the
organism has pleasures and pains, without knowing them as determined
in itself by objects, but this primitive pre-cognitive stage is short,
and most psychisms are certainly beyond it; they sense and notice
things, bodily and beyond the body, as of experience value in pleasure
and pain terms. At some most critical moment cognition first arose as
triple movement, object—subject—consciousness knowledge. Just what may
have been its original form it is most difficult to determine, but we
may suppose it to have been a very weak activity, possibly
expressible, as, “it hurts,” object being simply pain centre. “It
hurts,” means object self-related, with consciousness of the
consciousness, and this is our language expression for what seems to
be an extremely common psychosis among many organisms. As simple pains
were probably the first conscious phenomena, consciousness of pain was
probably the first consciousness of consciousness, involving also
subject and object consciousness. Not only to have a pain, but to be
conscious of it as definitely objectively determined is decidedly
useful attainment, which is finally inground in experience, so that it
occurs spontaneously in highest psychisms. But it is only with a few
of the highest human psychisms that consciousness object and subject
are apprehended as general facts. Even by philosophers and scientists,
subject, subjectivity, and object are not easily apprehended in their
distinctness as purely general modes; it requires will strain to
properly know them.

We have throughout sought the origin and place of modes of consciousness
in function, and from this point of view we must view object-knowledge,
subject-knowledge, and consciousness-knowledge as early coincident and
correlative. Cognition springs up as a threefold mode, for in no single
factor by itself has it life value. Pain, we say, forced the organism to
work out to object as painer, cognition arising at once as triple
activity. However, this does not imply that there is a constant knowing
with, an apperception, that every consciousness is accompanied with a
consciousness of it. Pains, pleasures, perceptions, etc., constantly
engross the consciousness field without our apprehending them. Simple,
common folk and children are rarely apperceptive, but yet they are
eminently self-conscious, and consciousness conscious in all their life
of naïve selfishness. They are constantly perceiving the significance of
things for their own experience, and acting upon this felt meaning.
Although not immediately aware of what is passing in their own
consciousness, as is common to certain high types of human psychism, yet
in their self-interest they certainly know themselves as experiencers.
Thus immediate awareness of one’s own psychic attitude as
such—apperception—is a kind of consciousness of consciousness in measure
divorced from consciousness of the object, and so belonging to such a
high scope of psychism that it hardly falls within the range of our
discussion, which is confined to simple direct emotion—value of things
as implying both self and consciousness knowledge. Apperception as a
constant reflection and introspection is certainly not original. In its
original form consciousness of consciousness is merely implied element
in the study of things. The study of conscious self self-possession,
self-poise, conscious psychic self-development, is all very late.

Leaving now the general consideration and analysis of self-consciousness
in the light of the general doctrine of evolution, let us note how it
occurs in consciousness to-day. Let us come to some direct inductive

The simplest method and the most direct of studying the rise and nature
of self-consciousness is in those experiences in coming to
self-consciousness from deep sleep or from coma after severe accident. I
say, “I regained consciousness,” “I came to consciousness,” meaning, not
bare consciousness as in mere sensations or perceptions, but a
self-consciousness involved therein. In becoming conscious I came to
self-consciousness; in becoming aware of the objective, I at once
realize my subjectivity, myself as experiencer. In coming out from under
the influence of chloroform, there is, I have distinctly observed in my
own case, a struggling to realize, which is both objective and
subjective cognition. It is true a person having awakened under very
strange circumstances, as in a bed in a hospital after an accident, may
declare, “I did not know myself,” but this does not mean that he had no
self-consciousness, but merely that for the moment he did not identify
this self, himself, as John Smith, of Jonesville, etc. Sometimes it
happens that self-identification is not reached at all, but the self, as
bodily whole experiencing, is speedily aware of self, a new personality
and sense of personality quickly grows up. Again, a lunatic mistaking
_himself_ for Herod or Cæsar is thus always self-conscious. He has
consciously established himself as the self playing a part in the world,
but according to the opinion of his sane fellows he is much in error as
to what that part is. Strictly speaking, there is no illusion of
self-consciousness, except under the impossible supposition that a being
not a real self or psychic individual should have self-sense; but the
very act of self-cognizance implies reality of self-hood. It is plain
that even the insane man who regards _himself_ as tree or stone, has,
however, the act of self-regard, is really self-conscious. Strictly
speaking, we cannot identify or recognise self, for sense of self is
necessary in any recognition to make it such, a self-consciousness is a
fundamental _prius_. You recognise a tree, a house, but you do not
recognise yourself except as yourself is mere object related to you, to
your experience. Self-identification means only objective act, and is
not, then, the same as self-consciousness, though based upon it.

I have endeavoured to make observations of myself in moments of awaking
from sleep or going to sleep, to find whether subjective reference and
objective apprehension are mingled co-ordinately in consciousness from
the beginning, whether the self-sense reaches through both the
perceptive life and the sensation life. Drowsing in bed I sometimes have
a feeling of bare pleasure as the first stage in a pleasant awakening.
There is here no sensing, no localizing, no awareness of body or of
anything, no self-consciousness. This mere undifferentiated pleasure,
interrupted by “cat-naps,” may often recur. Lolling half-awake every one
has frequently experienced these feelings of pure pleasure, unsensed and
unlocalized, and wholly unobjectivised, the barest and simplest
consciousness, the very first stage in awaking. In this very lowest
_status_ in which I can ever catch my consciousness I have the pleasure
from the warmth and softness of the bed without having to feel warm or
sensing the soft. It is a distinct step to even feeling warm; moreover,
in extreme drowsiness it is an effortful step, an active sensing, an
objectifying self-activity, and hence a real self-consciousness, implied
in the sensing act. To _feel_ warm, to sense in this mode, is primarily
object cognition which implies a measure of subject and consciousness
cognition in feeling the warmth as source of the pleasure. Any one who
will closely examine his mental state at the very first stage of slow
awaking from deep sleep—a state of primitive consciousness—will notice a
vanishing moment of mere pleasure or pain, and in cases of great
drowsiness, when a sensation supervenes upon this stage, it does not
merely _come_, as in our ordinary consciousness, but it is _brought_;
there is objectifying effort. So in basking in the sun like an animal,
the very first and lowest stage of consciousness I drop to is pure
pleasure without having even to feel warm; and the feeling warm is
distinctly a new and higher step in consciousness which is often
attained by some slight effort. Thus it is distinctly possible for a man
at times to be too lazy to feel warm; and this fundamental laziness must
be accounted not uncommon with lower psychisms. Similarly for cold
awakening one. There is a moment of pain from cold before one feels
cold, a general pain and uneasiness discomfort before one realizes what
is the matter, feels cold and the part cold—foot it may be—and so
reaches some self-consciousness; in language expression, I am cold or
feel cold. Here is a self-conscious personal experience, though the
first touch of mere pain was experienced by the individual unconscious
of himself.

We infer, then, that self-consciousness is first reached and maintained
in the sensing act as definite cognitive volition. To sense warmth and
cold is simply a little earlier objectification than to attain sense of
a light or a sound. To _feel_ is as active as to look or to listen. We
know that there are modes of force an appreciation of which does not now
enter into known psychosis, but which might be sensed through long and
severe effort and evolve a new sense-organ. Thus, if the conditions of
life had demanded it, there would have arisen in the struggle of
existence a magnetic sense, though now a man may place his head between
the poles of the strongest magnet and be unable to reach any sensation.
A magnetic sense once organized and inbred into experience would act
with the same apparent spontaneity, as a “_given_,” as does such a
sensation as that of heat; and a person feeling magnetic would have
self-feeling implied the same as in feeling warm. That feeling warm with
us denotes something which possesses consciousness rather than
consciousness by struggle possessing it, is simply the result of the
inheritance of the accumulated mental force by which past generations
have reached this sense, and thereby consolidated self-consciousness
with it, for self-consciousness is built up as reflex cognition from the
cognitive effort and willing of the individual. Sensation always begins
in a sensing, a volition of the individual to realize externality in its
experience value, that is, mode of affection of its own body, as in
feeling warm pleasurably or painfully. When the objective is not merely
sensed but perceived, when object and objects are definitely cognized,
self-consciousness is greatly furthered, as each object and objectifying
cognizance means self-reference or interpretation in terms of

That self-consciousness is early and fundamental psychosis, is apparent,
not only from the gradual losing consciousness on going to sleep or in
gaining consciousness in waking, but also from the fact of its being
universal in dream life. Those factors which remain throughout all
stages and kinds of dream life, are justly regarded as organic and
basal. The higher and later elements, those which are still nascent and
in the volitional stage, as conscience and reason, rarely or never occur
in dreams. In the slightest dreams there is personal quality; I am
consciously experiencing, I am walking, riding, looking, hearing, etc.
An awareness of self pervades all dream life, even in its lowest form.
We are constantly in a world of objects which we are conscious of in
their experience value as affecting us or to affect us. A person
relating a dream always narrates it as personal experience and so
felt—“I dreamed I was in a cave and I heard water running and I felt it
cold,” etc., etc. As far then as we can survey dream life, it is a
significant fact that self-consciousness pervades it.

As far then as we can discover in dream consciousness, or in ordinary
consciousness, self-consciousness is persistent and pervasive element.
In the whole range of consciousness, with the exception of the very
evanescent and absolutely primitive pure pleasure-pain series,
self-cognition appears. We say, indeed, that a man forgets himself in a
rage, but mean merely that the rage object as self-related quite
engrosses consciousness to the exclusion of other forms of
self-consciousness, as himself related to other selves. Blind with fury
to all other objects than the rage object, he does not notice things as
related to himself, and he will rush into a stone wall. In the utmost
concentration and intensification of emotion, self-consciousness does
not disappear, but is itself concentrated and intensified. Even in the
delirium of passion, so long as any cognition remains self-consciousness
remains. The intensification order in consciousness, that is, where
multiple consciousness loses elements through intensifying of some
others, bears evidence then to the fundamental nature of
self-consciousness. A person roused from sleep by cold, which becomes
more and more intense till he loses all consciousness through suffering,
is throughout the long series self-conscious with the exception of the
initial and the final pang of pain. From the moment when cold made him
attain consciousness till the moment when he thereby lost
consciousness—that is, practically the time he was conscious—he was
self-conscious; this is the verdict of common introspection. Any one who
looks back upon his experiences of this intensification nature, finds
himself to have been self-conscious throughout.

So far then as I have been able to examine them, the modes of coming to
consciousness in dream life and in awaking process, and also the order
of disappearing consciousness by intensification, confirm the general
result which at the opening of this chapter we deduced from a general
consideration of psychism under the conditions of existence, namely,
that self-consciousness is necessary and important factor in all
cognitive process, the self-relating act giving vital value to all
consciousness of external and internal object, whether in sensing or

We have already touched on the general function of self-consciousness,
the gain which accrues to the individual organism from knowing its own
experiences as such by giving self-directivity and special response. The
individual is thereby enabled to look after its own interests, to
consciously care for itself, and to make the most of itself. The core of
psychic life is _interest_, and the core of _interest_ is
self-consciousness. That the psychism has interest, that it feels for
itself, is essential to the progress of life. Indeed, the genesis and
growth of biological forms and organs lie in their attainment and
perfecting as servants to the self in the struggle of existence. We know
this to be the case for the sense-organs. The organism evidently came to
appreciate light by a definite _nisus_ with self-consciousness, just the
same in kind as that by which organ is advanced to-day when straining
the eyes to perceive a seventh Pleiad. In short, we do not see because
we have eyes, but we have eyes because we see. The seeing activity and
effort as a self-activity generates the eye and perfects it. So also it
is by locomotive effort that motor organs originate and develop. The
young child learning to walk, self-consciously and with effort moving
upon its legs, is an intimation of the way in which the limbs themselves
arose in active response to environment. The rabbits imported into
Australia have, it is reported, learned to climb trees, with a
consequent modification of foot structure. Now the real genesis of the
morphological change is obviously psychic, the climbing effort as a
valuable function to life under the conditions of existence, viz., the
scarcity of herbage.

But not only the motor and sensory organs are to be traced in origin and
growth to psychic basis in self-consciousness and struggle, but other
organs now quite disassociated from will may originally have been
developed by will. Thus the stomach may have originated in digestive
effort and the heart in circulatory effort. That self-attention to the
heart stimulates the action of the heart is well-known, and also that in
rare cases the heart’s action is directly controlled by will. This may
be survival. Function is built up also as indirect result of will, as
when motor effort in running develops heart action. Psychism may thus be
interpreted as the basis of all organic development. The body is the
offspring of will. Certainly as man surveys progressive adaptation in
himself and other evolving organisms, the psychic basis is apparent in
feeling and in effort self-conscious; and if in any wise it has
apparently become mechanical and spontaneous, as in heart-beat, as in
digestion, as in winking the eye, this is to be ascribed to impulse from
the past. Self-consciousness quickens reaction, for reaction time is
shortened when there is anticipation, and anticipation implies
self-consciousness as awareness of experienceability. Self-consciousness
also enormously strengthens reaction. Thus the more thoroughly one
realizes his own danger, the more powerful the effort to escape. This is
true under normal and simple conditions, the only form in which we are
considering self-consciousness. Self-consciousness may become abnormal
and debilitating in the hypochondriac, but this is a stage beyond our
present studies. Primarily in the struggle of life self-relating to
one’s own experience is always advantageous function. The most important
thing in life is the realization, by the aid of self-consciousness, of
the self-experience value of things; to appreciate and understand
environment, and so adapt oneself to it and adapt it to oneself, to
conserve and extend self, this is the substance of psychism, and its
whole history is thence pervaded by self-consciousness.

But we must now turn from these general considerations to specific
emotions as related to self-consciousness. In the natural course of
things, an organism can never sense or view the self with indifference.
In all early psychic stages a dispassionate view of self is uncalled for
and does not exist; and, in fact, even if the most educated and
thoughtful human adult had a self-sense which is active as evolutionary
cause, it may rightly be regarded as ever active. Life forms from the
lowest protista to the highest vertebrate are in their development due
to active response, and thus morphological development may be looked at
as a functional embodiment of psychism. Instead, then, of regarding
psychism merely as life factor, we may go farther, and define life as
psychism. This is what the doctrine of active response and development
thereby, with natural selection, leads to. The phenomena of life, so far
as we can interpret them, seem to favour the view that organism is
objectification of the will, and, except at the very first stage, will
as cognitive, and triply so in object-subject-consciousness cognition.
Such evidence as we have points rather to organic body as reflex of mind
than mind as reflex of body. That the initiatory, progressive, and
creative force in evolution is psychic, we judge from such instances as
we can observe of progressive adaptation in ourselves and in lower
animals. Where new circumstances affect a species, as the rabbit
transferred to Australia, the favouring modification of the foot to
climb trees is evidently only attained by severest struggle for
self-conservation. If a new mode of force were introduced to this
planet, which should powerfully affect life, it would reach it at first
only through pleasure-pain, and the growth to a special sense-organ for
this new force would very gradually be attained through the struggle for

The prime value of self-consciousness in evolution is in securing an
intelligent correlation with environment. All specific reaction and
adaptation arose probably through an emotion volitional self-relating of
object. It is a biologic psychic law that all emotion is bound up with
self-consciousness, and all self-consciousness with emotion, for thus
only is there efficiency as intelligent will stimulation. But while
sense of self is inherent in all emotion as such, may it not in some
cases have a peculiar place, so that we may justly term them
self-feelings or emotions of personality?

A child fears the dog and is proud of its new dress. Here are two
emotions which both imply self-consciousness, the object is in both
related to the self, but they differ in egoistic quality in that in the
fear there is sense of the thing as acting on the self, in the pride
there is sense of the self as acting on the thing. In the pride it is
the object as identified with the self that is the source of emotion.
The pride proceeds from within outward, while fear, _vice versâ_. In
fear it is the experience value of the dog, that it will hurt, that
gives the emotion quality; but in the pride the essence of the emotion
lies, not in the influence of the dress on the self, but that the self
is connected with the dress by way of ownership. “See my pretty dress”;
“Oh mama! the cross dog”; the emotions thus expressed appear to belong
to different orders; the fear being of the thing in its effect on the
self, the pride being of the self in the thing. Pride is a glorified
self-consciousness, self-consciousness is its substance and immediate
spirit, whereas in fear self-consciousness is but an instrument in
interpretation of experience value. We observe an interesting example of
emotion of personality in a young girl who fears a cow and is yet
ashamed of her fear. Here, while self-consciousness is certainly
involved in the fear, yet it is peculiarly involved in the emotion at
her emotion as such; the shame is at or of herself, the fear is for
herself. This peculiar personal feature of pride is signified by the
common usage of language; the child is proud of the thing, does not
pride the thing, but prides himself on the thing, whereas in fear he
fears the thing for himself. I say, indeed, the child is afraid of the
dog and proud of his dress, but the force of the preposition is quite

It may be said that pride is not peculiarly an emotion of personality
simply as being directed toward self; one can hate himself, fear
himself, be angry at himself, etc. But the drunkard fearing himself
means merely that he fears the results of his own tendencies, _delirium
tremens_, for instance, a perfectly objective fear. And it is evident
that one cannot, holding to the term, self, in the same meaning, fear at
once himself for himself. The self which is endangered is not the self
which endangers. In all such cases as so-called fearing self the action
is from without inward, which is the reverse of the mode in
personality—emotion where oneself is seen, not as affected by the thing,
but as himself in the thing.

The typical and earliest of the emotions of personality is undoubtedly
pride. Like all emotions pride includes cognition of object; pride is
always proud of something but in the peculiar way before emphasized, in
the light which our own personality casts upon it. Pride generally and
certainly originally implies sense of something done or possessed by
self and that in a manner superior to competitors. It is a self
assertion over rivals, an impressing spectators, a being proud of
something to some one. If the world contained but one solitary conscious
individual, he could never attain to pride, though he might be
self-satisfied. Sense of comparative self-magnification is essential to
pride. Pride as social in its nature suffers great diminishing when the
individual is long kept in solitude, and in some cases men may
ultimately lose all standard of comparison and so pride entirely
vanishes. If a man were from his earliest remembrance an inhabitant of a
desert isle pride would have no opportunity to develop. His achievements
might satisfy himself, but they could not make him proud, for he would
know nothing of others and their works. Again, this need of sociality is
seen in this, that we are not proud of our planet as such. We
distinguish it, indeed, as our own, but we have no sense of pride in its
finest features as such. I do not feel proud of Amazonian forest or
Himalayan mountain merely as earth characters. However, if in the future
we secure interplanetary communication, and planets rival each other as
cities and countries do now, there will be a stimulus to pride on an
astronomical scale. If we could say to the inhabitants of some neighbour
sphere that our planet made better time round the sun than theirs, this
would be the basis of an intense pride.

The extent of pride is thus equal to the extent of the self-sense, but
in its wide ranges pride is relatively weak. I am proud of my country,
but, other things being equal, more proud of my state and still more
proud of my city. I am proud of the achievements of the Anglo-American
race, and I always survey a locomotive with pride, but it is when
ownership and achievement comes closer to the _ego_, as in one’s
relatives and family, that pride notably intensifies, and it reaches its
_maximum_ in view of one’s own attainments. That which we do without any
assistance and which seems to us far beyond the ordinary gives the best
and highest incitement to pride.

Pride, in the later stages at least, is more and more discriminating,
and is connected finally only with those objects which are the actual
will products of the individual, and so identified with the veritable
self. Thus is erected by society a pride test, and men say, “He has a
right to be proud,” or, “He ought not to be proud.” Yet standards will
differ, and what one will be proud of another will be ashamed of, and
_vice versâ_. The general standard is largely regulated by the
comparative amount of will force and so of strength required in the
particular act; thus, while I am not proud of crushing an ant, I might
be at felling an ox.

The general expression of pride is holding up one’s head and expanding
oneself generally, though this self-enlargement is not, as in anger, to
inspire fear in beholders, but rather admiration. Proud sense of
superiority naturally asserts itself primarily in physical
impressiveness, and, as such, pride plays an especially large part in
sexual selection. The lower expression of pride is swagger and strut,
the higher in a dignity and stateliness of demeanour.

The function of pride, the use which originally determined its
development, and which is still apparent, is a pleasure-sanction to
competitive successful effort. The proud consciousness of triumph is one
of the greatest pleasures of existence, and if there were no such
emotion following the winning effort, life would lose much of its
incentive. Pride prevents parasitism. Without pride to stimulate and
reward, striving mind would have lost one of the most potent factors of
progress. Even in human education it becomes of value to appeal to a
just and proper pride. In the lower life it is all important. It gives
tone to life, gives power and confidence, assertiveness and
aggressiveness, and conduces in a large measure to permanent and
progressive self-aggrandisement. And not only for effect upon self but
upon others, pride is an important psychic factor. Thus pride in always
showing a bold, commanding front to rivals, makes a direct impression
upon antagonists. Pride always puts the best foot first, hides weakness
and exaggerates strength, so that the proud one always shows for all and
even more than he is, and thus gains much in the struggle of existence
where even mere appearance of power is apt to discourage opponents. The
one who is strong and proud of it is doubly strong. Pride is the reflex
of gain and victory, as shame is of loss and defeat. It is thus the root
of ambition, the desire of rank and place for superiority’s sake which
has been, and now is, especially in advanced human psychism, a most
powerful agent in the evolution of life and mind.

But while it is undoubtedly true that pride is in its origin solely an
advantageous psychosis, and indeed, could have been developed in no
other way, yet there is a disadvantageous side. Only up to a certain
point is it true that the prouder one is, the better off he is. When
pride, over-stimulated, betrays into over-confidence and heedlessness,
then, indeed, “pride goeth before a fall.” But at the first, however, we
must suppose that the organism was proud of only that of which it was to
its advantage to be proud; but by perversion and hypertrophy, indeed, in
pride as in the case of other emotions, caused largely by rivals, it
became a source of great disadvantage and positively destructive of high
self-advancement. Conceit, an over-weening abnormal pride which is
totally irrelevant to the real standing of the individual, cannot but be
highly injurious. However, harmful pride must be accounted rather late.
In early psychisms attainment over and beyond others, when perceived
naturally and normally, gave rise to pride as a wholly useful emotion
reaction, and those who had the capacity of being proud had a distinct
advantage over those who had no sense of their own consequence or no
pride about it. Even in human society we must remark that in general
those who are incapable of becoming proud on proper occasion, are less
and less liable to reach the occasion.

Pride, as emotion of sense of superiority, manifests itself in many
forms, of which we need not now expect to make a detailed or complete
investigation, since the object of our present studies is merely to
emphasize the main forms of the early emotions from the point of view of
natural selection. Simple pride, which is unconscious of itself, but
acts directly and without reflection, as we see in a child proud of a
new dress, is a phase which does not often appear in the experience of
the educated human adult, where pride becomes highly complicated with
emotional and intellectual movements of many kinds, and where it is
extended to a wide diversity of objects with the extension of
self-interest. Thus men are proud of rank, blood, money, muscular
strength, possessions, intellectual attainments, moral character, and,
in fact, whatever the idea of _mine_ can be applied to. However, the
different kinds of pride are not to be distinguished by the object
merely, as pride of rank, blood, etc., for difference in object does not
by itself constitute distinct quality in psychic act. Pride is the same,
whether it is of a horse, a bank account, or a wife. Still the object
frequently calls up subsidiary emotions which may complicate pride, and
the perceived nature of the object certainly influences our feeling
toward it.

When an object is to be competed for, but we consider it beneath us to
enter the lists, or we think our rivals unworthy of our attention, we
have the peculiar phase of feeling termed arrogance. Arrogance brooks no
rivalry and stands apart on a peak of self-contained superiority. Walter
Savage Landor, the proudest of men, displays this feeling in perfection
when he says in one of his cameos in verse:

                    “I strove with none,
                    For none were worth my strife.”

This is a perfect expression of complete arrogance. We may say that he
was too proud to be proud. No one was worthy of his mettle, and so he
held himself aloof with the feeling of immeasurable superiority.
Strictly speaking then, arrogance is a variety of very intense pride
where the sense of superiority is perfectly exclusive and absolute, and
disdains comparison. It is entirely inconsiderate of others’ rivalry and
above caring for the approval or disapproval or admiration of others.
Thus this phase, unlike pride in general, seeks concealment rather than
display; its excellence is so far beyond the common as to be
unappreciable by contemporaries, and appreciated by self alone.

Conceit is a term objectively applied, but hardly indicates a kind of
pride, a real subjective distinction. He who thinks more highly of
himself than he ought to think, esteems himself beyond his due, and so
is considered by the community over proud, is termed conceited. The
pride which is entirely just, as viewed from the objective standpoint,
is quite the same subjectively as the most preposterous conceit.
Similarly also dignity is no real feeling. “That man is dignified”; this
is an objective characterization of his manner of conduct, but this does
not imply that he feels dignified. Pride may give a dignified demeanour,
but a feeling dignified can only refer to the reactive effect upon
consciousness, of this mode of behaviour. “I feel proud,” may likewise
sometimes be used, not for designating the subjective feeling or being
proud, but as equal to, “I felt that I was proud,” that is, “I was proud
and I knew it,” “I had the sense of being proud.” So also in general we
may remark that while feeling may denote a simple state of being, yet
such phrases as “I felt proud,” “felt angry,” etc., are ambiguous, and
may mean either the bare feeling of pride, anger, etc., as experienced,
or the feeling of being proud, angry, etc., or both, that is,
consciousness of the particular consciousness may or may not complicate
self-consciousness. The word, feel, is often used in this merely
reflexive way to denote a sense of state as, “I was proud and I felt so
at the time.” Thus common phrase verifies the analysis that
self-consciousness and consciousness of consciousness are bound up with
emotion, the full analysis of the phrase showing that the feeling proud
was an object consciousness _plus_ a subject consciousness.

As previously intimated, we have to sharply distinguish between pride
and such emotions as self-satisfaction and self-complacency. These
latter emotions of personality deal solely with the self in its own
sight, while pride is always not over self to self, but over self to
others. The self-satisfied often are proud, but this is not necessarily
implied. The comparative element enters in self-satisfaction, as in all
true pride, but the comparison is primarily with oneself, not with
others. If we succeed in our own eyes, we may think little about others.
A pure self-satisfaction, like a purely altruistic pride, is a rare and
late phenomenon. Pride about others, pride to oneself, are both very apt
to be tinged with the original pride over others. One says of a friend,
“I feel proud of him”; but while this has a certain reality and psychic
value of altruistic mode, yet the innate and fundamental selfishness of
pride tends to make a place in what appears to be the most disinterested
form. Personal interest and aggrandisement is so inbred a motive from
the earliest stages of evolution that it is never superseded.

A feeling of embarrassment is an emotion of personality which is closely
connected with pride. Those who are most susceptible to pride are most
apt to feel embarrassed. The one who has no tendency toward pride, who
does not in the least care how he may appear before others or in
relation to others, and so does not value his place among his fellows,
cannot be embarrassed. He may be disturbed by the difficulties of some
task, but only in the same way in which he would be agitated by any
difficult work undertaken by and for himself alone. The emotion of
embarrassment, like pride, conceives the self in its social relations.
When one says that he felt greatly embarrassed in being called on
unexpectedly to speak at a dinner, we perceive that he means emotion,
not merely in view of the inherent difficulty of the task, but in view
of what he himself may or may not do under the inspection of the
critical. In this emotion there is a wonderful quickening of the
self-sense, a painfully intense self-consciousness being suddenly
generated as the peculiar relation of self to others is impressed upon
him. This self-sense is powerfully reinforced by the self-sense of the
bodily expression of self-consciousness. The whole bodily self seems
conspicuously magnified, and we become painfully aware of hands, feet,
and other members. This bodily self-sensitiveness, as often contributing
strongly to this emotion-total, is very marked in cases of blushing. A
girl, feeling embarrassed, blushes, and immediately becoming conscious
of the blushing as itself an embarrassing circumstance, blushes again
still more violently, and becoming conscious of this, becomes still more
confused, and so on, a constant cumulation of psychic effect from
reaction of expression. Sense of the expression of embarrassment is
itself embarrassing, hence every embarrassment may become in itself a
new source of embarrassment. However, that this peculiar
self-consciousness cannot be forced in itself or in its expression, we
see in the fact that the efforts of the maiden who exclaims in mock
modesty, “I _know_ I am blushing,” are entirely futile. This assumption
of embarrassment may become embarrassing, and so a genuine expression be
stimulated, which, however, is of quite another order from the one

How such an emotion as that of embarrassment, which is disadvantageous
from the first, could have originated under natural selection, can never
be solved by the evolutionist who views all variation as originally
springing from personal advantage. Here is a psychosis, always the
reverse of serviceable, an emotion anticipatory of disgraceful defeat,
and so is really premonitory, but yet one which ever unnerves, rather
than nerves to successful action. He who never feels embarrassed, under
any circumstances always has the best chance. Hence this psychosis must
be strictly a negative evolution, an unfavourable variation determined
by a persistent exciting by antagonists as serviceable to them. An
adversary will always put his opponent in an embarrassing situation, and
endeavour that he shall both be embarrassed and feel embarrassment. This
emotion has thus been stimulated and fostered during ages of psychic
evolution, and in advanced human evolution the stimulating it is one of
the subtlest methods of offence.

A feeling of embarrassment is incipient shame, or perhaps the way for
shame. But the feeling of embarrassment is generally anticipatory as to
the potential, while shame is as to the actual; it is a feeling of
present public degradation and loss. Both equally imply a capacity for
pride; one who cannot be proud cannot be ashamed. But shame, unlike the
feeling of embarrassment, acts as serviceable variation to the
individual, and is one of the weightiest negative guards to advantageous
actions. It cannot promote very high and noble action, but it keeps
above a certain low and base level. The member of society who has lost
all pride and all sense of shame has ceased to feel the most powerful
and useful of social incentives.[E]


Footnote E:

  As to the origin of bodily shame, we may suppose that this arose with
  reference to _excreta_ as something rejected from the body, and
  therefore base and unworthy. With the refined even spitting and
  perspiring are shameful. It may be that sexual shame can be traced to
  the same root, but social convention and morality also have very large
  influence here.


There is a certain curious psychosis which may be called shame for want
of a better term. I allude to the feeling which prompts one to shun
oneself. One may not only be ashamed to look others in the eye, but even
himself. He will not look at himself in a mirror because he feels a
great loss of self-respect. This is not the opposite of vanity, a shame
at viewing oneself because of unseemliness of feature, which is liable
to general observation, but it is rather the reverse, the polar opposite
of pure self-feeling, of self-respect and self-satisfaction. A feeling
of shame with regard to oneself alone is still, of course, comparative;
though it does not touch upon others, it implies a self-erected
standard. This emotion, like the others just mentioned, is obviously
very late.

However, perhaps the latest in the series, and the psychic culmination
of all is humility. Humility, like meekness, marks a new order of
evolution. In the highest human development pride is eliminated and
supplanted by humility. A true self-estimate of personal achievement
upon a very wide and impartial impersonal basis, either that of a
scientific view of man’s place in the universe, or as influenced by high
religious and moral ideals, leads to a feeling of humility. Egoism and
self-assertiveness give place to altruistic modesty and refined reserve.
The humble man always gives place rather than takes place. He does not
lift himself above his fellows, but takes the lowest seat, and is
servant of all. The humble man does not strive with others, not because
too proud to do so, as Landor, but because he feels called to the
highest and best work for its own sake. He says with Laotze, “Do, not
strive.” Unthinking of getting ahead or falling behind others, he aims
consistently and constantly at an ideal of perfect fruitage, so high an
ideal that he always feels his own unworthiness in his own sight and in
that of others, though aware of his desert by the ordinary standards of
his community, country, or generation. Worldly successes produce no
elation in the lowly of heart; they view themselves, not with
self-depreciation, but with the justness of the largest view, as Newton,
who, when complimented upon his attainments, replied that he had but
picked up a few pebbles by the ocean of truth. Spiritual and ethical
principles sway these, and not personal ambition. And it must be noted
that humility is not simply lack of pride under circumstances which
naturally allow of it, an insensitiveness to pride, a wholly negative
state, which is nothing in itself, but it is a positive feeling and
emotion in view of oneself in relation to others. Thus the humble man is
he of high pride capacity, and who consciously refrains from pride when
usual standards would allow it. “That is something to be proud of,” “He
has a right to be proud,” and similar expressions mark the lower
standards of which he never avails himself. The best and noblest
specimens of mankind renounce the “world,” “the lust of the eye and
pride of life,” and live by their self-erected ideals. And if we ask how
the spirit of humility and disinterestedness can arise and progress in a
natural evolution, we must answer that it holds its place and wins its
way by reason of its greater inherent value and fruitfulness. He who has
himself in view has lost sight of his work. By this psychic mode alone
is the largest, most perfect, most permanent work accomplished, and
ultimately, often posthumously, it is appreciated at its real worth.
Those originating and master minds in human history who have opened new
avenues of spiritual progress, have usually been of this modest,
unassuming, humble type. Thus in a wholly natural manner the higher law
of an ideal life prevails over the lower law of life which works only by
competition in the struggle for existence.

                              CHAPTER XVI
                        _INDUCTION AND EMOTION_

We have implied throughout that we have feeling about a thing only so
far as we attach on basis of past experience an experience value to the
thing, as we say, “the burnt child dreads the fire.” Induction, as this
interpretation is termed, is so important an element that we will devote
a little space to considering its _rationale_, development, and place in
intellectual emotion.

What is the _rationale_ of the inductive act? Why should iteration lead
to expectancy of reiteration? I observe that a body unsupported falls in
a hundred instances, but is it not arbitrary for me then to suppose that
it will fall the hundred and first instance? In fact would it not be
more rational to suppose that this particular combination should be
exhausted, that it was time for nature to stop? But this very reason
rests on the uniformity of nature—the very law we are questioning—as
experienced in the past and applied to the future; only it is a negative
law of omissions, literally law of reiteration of unreiterations. Thus
if reason takes the law of uniformity of nature to task it can only do
so by assuming it. J. S. Mill in his treatment of this matter (_Logic_,
bk. iii. chap. 3, sec. 2), falls into an error. It is, indeed, true, as
he says, that some occurrences repeated suggest cessation and not
recurrence, as when we have several consecutive cloudy days, we expect a
bright one, or having had several rainy seasons we expect a dry one; but
it is plainly wrong to regard this, as he does, as a contradiction of
the principle of uniformity of nature. On the contrary, this is a very
good example of it. Experience of intermittent character of bad weather
in the past leads to expectancy of its re-intermittency for the future,
and the oftener the experience the stronger the belief as to the nature
of the still unexperienced. A negative uniformity is as much a
uniformity as a positive.

It is plain that we can assign no reason for our belief in the
uniformity of nature. It is simply a fact, an arbitrary fact if you
will, that the more often experiences are conjoined, the more strongly
we expect the conjuncture. I may imagine a body unsupported remaining
stationary in the air as readily as to imagine it falling; however, I
_believe_ it will fall, and I duck my head for fear of getting hurt. Not
any speculative reason then, but a very practical reason, is at the
bottom of this inductive tendency, that is, the conservation and
progress of the organism is secured by induction as anticipatory
function. The origin of induction is not then in its abstract
rationality, but in its immediate utility as a life function. Experience
is self-adjustment through felt stimulus. Once begun it grows by
continual self-reference, and hence practically all experience is
inductive. Experience is thus a _continuum_, an integrating cumulating
whole; and inductive experience, like all experience, arises and
progresses by reason of its serviceability.

It has been implied that the inductive act arises very early in the
history of experience. Every psychosis is what it is by reason of all
the previous psychoses in the individual and the race. Psychism, while
it has its points of development in individuals, must yet be estimated
as a unit, as a single whole. But we have to ask whether this
modification of one psychosis by another is conscious or unconscious. If
some low organism have in its lifetime but two consciousnesses, must we
regard the second as influenced in quality by the first, and if so,
consciously influenced, that is, a conscious relating, an active
induction as opposed to mechanical integration? Is mind always
self-building, or does psychosis act and react on psychosis
automatically? We have maintained that all the growth of mind has been
in the past, as in the present, by struggle, by severest endeavour, and
hence if experience modify experience it is by conscious act. Experience
thus constantly connects with itself and builds upon itself, it is
self-integrating, that is, inductive, in all its evolution. Mind, as
primarily pleasure-pain and struggle, by endeavour reaches back to
itself, realizes itself, and rises upon itself.

Take a comparatively simple case. A child tastes an orange, and finds it
sweet, _i.e._, it relates the sweetness to the object, which relating is
a true thinking, an active conjoining or associating. Upon the
presentation of another orange to the child at a later date, he
identifies it as the sweet thing; he associates sweetness as to be
experienced from it on basis of past associating, that is, he makes an
induction. In this second orange-experience, as far as there is active
conjoining of mental products, a definite adding to present percept of
sweet taste as experienceable by conscious reference to former percept
(taste-experience), we must recognise a genuine thought-process. The
thinking consists in the joining of sensation of taste to an object, not
as a present, but as a future experience, on the basis of some past
experience. Here is a true mediation or reasoning of inductive type, and
also a true concept-process, that is, a taking together, a conscious
uniting, although the product is still particular. The nearest approach
to expressing this psychological process in language is to say, “This
round yellow is this sweet, because this round yellow was this sweet
before.” The correlating process rests upon the relating process
accomplished at first experience of orange-tasting, whereby the taste
was related to the thing tasted. This relating may be thrust upon the
mind, or the mind may consciously and actively assimilate. Thought in
the wide sense of the term may be made to include all mediate or
immediate conscious conjoining of experiences, whether the product be
general or particular.

Mediacy is certainly, however, accomplished before commonness is noted,
which in ordinary usage is concept-making. The grouping of the
particular taste with the particular sight and touch on basis of past
experience does not give a general result. The mediate term of past
experience of taste which the child brings up on sight of orange and
applies to the present case does not suggest commonness, but constancy
of experience, for at first it knows things only as identical, and not
as separate, or as like or unlike. The method of this early intelligence
is that of identifying, “The orange was sweet and is sweet”; and not
that of common characterizing, “Oranges are sweet, and this is an
orange.” The child does not discriminate or understand that the object
of its first experience is, by reason of this experience, no longer to
be experienced; it has not attained notion of disappearance. It does not
cognize the orange as one of a group or class, having as common
characters roundness, sweetness, and yellowness, and from presence of
round-yellow in any instance infer sweet; but it knows orange only as
this particular object of past, present, and future experience. Many of
the early thought-experiences of children are to be interpreted rather
upon this identity-method than upon the usual interpretation of true
concepts. Thus the child who calls every person of certain age, dress,
etc., “Papa,” is not thinking of a papa, or class of papas, but of the
papa. This is mistaken identity: the common and like is the same, and
the child requires considerable discrimination before it attains to
notion of papa in general. Same and not-same are discriminated before
like and unlike, and hence young children use common names as proper.
Now the mental product achieved by the child, which, as expressed in
words, we term the papa, may be styled a particular concept, a gathering
together of sight-sensations, and associating sound- and
touch-sensations with these so that any generally like group of
sight-sensations enables the child to call up on basis of past
experience the associated sound and touch, to expect the gentle word and
caress. The child in identifying the orange, “This round yellow thing is
the sweet thing,” is bringing together with a certain general force, not
of common characterization, indeed, but of temporal significance as
permanent grouping. Animals and young children think mostly on the
identifying plan; they join to and expect for a present experience what
has been conjoined with it in past experience, but the object is the
same, not a like one.

How then does the child come to knowledge of things as like, to form a
class of oranges after regarding all oranges as the orange? Pass oranges
before a young child one after the other so that one only is in sight,
and the child will probably know only one orange as the same continually
re-appearing. The image formed will, however, be more or less composite,
the mental product will be a concept-image, as being a re-inforcement
and exaggeration of common characters and a suppression of individual;
but for practical purposes it is still a particular concept, that is,
the child applies it to the one and not the many, and does not recognise
its representative nature. A general image as a group of common
qualities may be thus attained before consciousness of this generality
is reached.

If now two or three oranges are presented to the child at the same time,
it will learn to discriminate them as separate co-existences, having
characters in common, roundness, yellowness, etc.; the objects will be
recognised as individuals belonging to class round-yellow things. Here a
general image having a general import is achieved. The particular
characters, round, yellow, sweet, which always centred in and made up
the individual orange, are recognised to have general scope in applying
to many objects. Groups of characters had been achieved before by
particular thinking, but now by general thought groups of characters as
common are formed. From the practically coincident impressions it gains
the notion orange, so that it recognises new individuals as individuals,
and not as the individual or single object, as in the earlier and cruder
identity method of thinking. The mind now—instead of saying “Same
impressions, same object”—says “Same impressions, like objects.” Instead
of making an object as a group of qualities, it makes a class of objects
having the group of qualities in common. Concept-forming is thus often
but an extension from what I have termed the particular concept; the
group of qualities formed as characterizing the thing is through
experience with co-existences predicated of things. Notion or idea of
the orange precedes notion or idea of orange; but both are truly notions
or concepts, a taking together of impressions, one of particular, the
other of general import. The general significance of the particular
group is first forced upon the mind by experience, but soon the mind
generalizes as well as notices generalizations brought to it. Gradually
the mind obtains power to generalize, not only from co-existences, but
from successions, and later still to generalize by abstraction, to
compare and pick out common features amidst the unlike, to search for
unity in diversity.

The rise of generalizing power is through the struggle for existence; it
originates, like all other mental processes, in practical needs. Law is
thereby not simply acted upon or merely recognised, as in the
associative stage: it is definitely sought for and applied. Art arises,
and also science. The ability, given by generalizing power, of dealing
with things in the lump, becomes of signal service, and specially
distinguishes man. But the primary value of the concept in all its
stages is not as a summation of experience, but as a guide for the
future. Through reiterated grouping the concept-group is recognised as
permanent factor, so that one element of a group being given, other
elements are expected through a conscious assimilation with the past
experience. The concept answering to the word orange, for example, is
the mental product recognising a constant co-existence of certain
qualities of shape, colour, size, taste, etc., so that from occurrence
of one or more we infer other or others. Concepts are the inner
groupings, the mental synthesizings, which interpret the outer groupings
that we term laws of nature. In all this we see the inductive element in
its conscious form, experience developing itself by anticipating future
in terms of past.

We have now to consider briefly the psychological nature of judgment and
reasoning with special reference to the inductive feature. Logically
judgment is any connecting, _plus_ affirming of reality, as effected
through the copula. The copula is made, not only to denote relation, but
reality of relation, to express, not only the act of connecting, but
also its validity for the case in hand. Psychologically, judging may be
regarded as any thinking, as any relating without reference to the
things related, whether it be a joining of the concept “reality” to some
other concept as a concept-forming process, or any joining of other
elements. I have already discussed the nature of relating _per se_, but
on the topic of judgment a word is to be said about the
proposition-form. In all thinking there are the two things
joined—subject and predicate in language-expression—and the act of
joining, or copula in language-expression; thus all thought is capable
of the proposition-form. Indeed, the word-form cannot express a thinking
but only a thought as a consolidated and single product, and as a sign
of process. The word is a summary of process and relations, but it
cannot express process as concept-forming or judging. The word orange
signifies for the mind by symbolic and shorthand method, “Thing is sweet
_plus_ thing is yellow,” etc; but as far as process happens, and not
simultaneous composite representation, the process is capable of
proposition-form. All relatings or joinings, even of particulars to
particulars, are of the proposition-type, and I must dissent from the
common view that two percepts cannot stand in subject-predicate
relations. As I have before discussed, the relating of particular to
particular is thinking, and to say “This sweet belongs to this yellow”
is awkward indeed, but still psychologically proper. Every proposition,
on the other hand, is susceptible of analysis as expressive of
concept-forming relating. The proposition “Man is mortal” is expression
of a mental process of joining; the concept mortal is either attached to
or detached from the concept man, according as we consider the process
as synthetic or analytic. If it be a grouping or concept-forming in full
sense, it means that in forming the concept man, we add to the already
gathered qualities the quality “mortal” on basis of experience. The
child first notices deaths in cases of John, Peter, etc., whom it knows
to belong to the class “men,” forms the concept “mortal” and adds it by
generalisation to the whole class and enlarges concept “man” by one
quality. This proposition, as denoting inductive concept-forming,
expresses the act of incorporating on basis of experience the quality
mortal into the quality-group man. As analytic, as a detaching of what
has been grouped, the proposition still expresses joining, and until the
statement becomes purely formal and practically meaningless the
rejoining is always a strengthening of the concept, and formative in its

All uniting or relating is, however, more than a bare connecting; it is
a definite mode of relating, it has a form; and the first and
fundamental form is that of time and space, by which all relating has
the inductive quality of relying upon the past for the interpretation of
the future. But thought as self-active mentality is specially stimulated
and controlled by the form of reality. All relatings are not, however,
influenced by sense of reality, and hence belief is not coincident with
judgment in the large sense. Affirmation or denial of actuality or
reality is a kind of joining, but is not joining _per se_. The infant
joins taste of sweetness with percept round-yellow for the first time
and for many following times with no reference to reality or unreality.
“This round-yellow is this sweet” expresses a mere connecting, a bare
relating, but as neither real nor unreal. There is no emphasis laid on
the copula by which it expresses more than a mere joining. But let the
perfect tranquility of the child’s experience be broken in upon by
discord of appearance and reality, let the child once have a bitter
experience with a round lemon, then its future conjoinings of
round-yellow and sweet will be more or less tinged by sense of
possibility of error, and emphasis will be laid on the copula, “That
_is_ sweet.” Through other such experiences with other of its
thought-groups, the child generalises to the universal significance of
reality and unreality for all its thinking; hence, all conjoinings with
their copula-expressions attain a new force and quality from this
induction. In the light of fallibility as making up a part of the
concept “experience,” all thought-experience modifies itself by this
self-relation. Reality becomes so constant and universal for all
thought-life that mature thought can never escape it. Hegel tried to
rise superior to the notion of existence, but psychologically, at least,
he failed. The conception or induction of reality becomes a necessary
form of thought by being united with all unitings. Judgment in the
narrow sense may be defined as all those relatings in which the reality
of the relation is affirmed or denied.

Lastly a word on the nature of reasoning. Reasoning is mediatorial; the
joining is accomplished through one or more mediates. Most if not all
thinking is by mediating; joining proceeds only upon ground or basis,
whether recognised or not as such. “Kings are mortal” is the
language-expression of a conjoining effected either through the
particular mediate term, John, or terms, John, Peter, etc., or through
the general mediate term men. In both cases the conjoining is effected
through subjoining of the mediate term to both the elements to be
conjoined. In the first case the process is: “John is mortal, John is
king, therefore kings are mortal.” This relating of king and mortal is
strengthened by subjoining for other particular mediates, Peter, James,
etc. In the second case the process is: “Men are mortal, kings are men,
therefore kings are mortal.” In both cases the appeal is to constancy of
coherence of a quality to a quality-group, in the first, mortality
coherent with king John, hence coherent with kings; in the second, kings
have mortality because mortality is coherent with the group man = kings
+ others. In both cases the generalising tendency, that is, the
inductive quality, is the main point and not the method of mediation. In
both processes the concept king is filled out by the additional quality
mortality, and there is real gain in generalising and concept-forming,
whether the mind accomplishes it by the more special or more general
reference. Induction in the large sense is thus inclusive of both
induction and deduction in the restricted sense as determined by the
mode of mediation. Inductive thinking, as we have treated it, is the
joining which generalises, whatever be the means used to this end.
Induction as generalising tendency is imbedded in experience, and is the
largest factor in all its development. All cognition as interpretation
is induction.

That induction, as giving the experience value of things on basis of
previous experience, is fundamental to all emotions about the things,
has been implied throughout our discussion. But the inductive act may
itself be emotively considered and intellectual emotion may arise. How
and why induction came to be a pleasurable act and carried on for its
own sake is, perhaps, not explainable by biologic evolution. It is
certain that the inductive act, like other functions, arises as painful
effort and as a mere means of serving life. Identifying and recognising
is accomplished only under pressure of the struggle for existence.
Animals in general, and, indeed, most human beings exercise their
intelligence, make inductions, only as compelled by the demands of life.
The Australian savages who guided Lumholtz in his search for new
marsupials knew about the animals solely in a practical way, and were
totally unable to comprehend Lumholtz’s motive. So geologists examining
stones are entirely misapprehended by savages and the semi-civilized,
though these people are sufficiently acquainted with stones so far as
they are a source of mineral wealth, are useful for building, etc. And
from the point of view of natural selection pure science, the pursuit of
knowledge solely for its own sake, without the least reference to its
appreciation, is unexplainable.

Nevertheless, it is a fact that at a certain point in psychism the
intellectual life develops for its own sake; the inductive act is
pleasurable, and the desire arises to continue it as such, that is, here
is true intellectual emotion, an emotion arising about an intellectual
act represented as such. This feeling about induction may rise to an
absorbing passion, as with Charles Darwin. He liked nothing better than
making inductions, until he finally came to like little else. If the
reason is asked for induction becoming pleasurable, and an end in itself
psychology at present has no answer.

It is plain that when intellectual activity is desired, not as a means,
but as an end in itself, it excludes much intellectual emotion which is
commonly associated therewith. Surprise and wonder, for instance, are
intellectual emotions at contemplating a conjuncture very contrary to
expectation, entirely opposite to some pre-formed induction, but they do
not imply devotion to intellectual activity as such. The visitor to a
biological laboratory who, on first seeing blood corpuscles, cries
“Wonderful! Who would have thought it! One’s blood all full of such
things! Let me look again!” is hardly actuated by the scientific motive.
All phenomena are equally wonderful or wonderless—which amounts to the
same thing—to the scientist; for him everything is simply natural, he
forms no expectations not founded on facts. The “wonders of science” are
wonders only to the outsider: the scientist takes them as matter of
fact. It is no more wonderful to him that the blood should be full of
corpuscles than that it should fall in drops. The tyro does not wonder
at a drop of blood; he wonders to see the drop filled with myriads of
animated corpuscles; the scientist wonders at neither. He who, on being
told of blood corpuscles, exclaims, “I want to know,” plainly desires
knowledge, but is not impelled by a pure thirst for knowledge. The
scientific items appearing in the newspapers generally appeal merely to
seekers for marvels and lovers of intellectual sensation. Surprise and
wonder are then extraneous impulses to knowledge, the impulse to
knowledge for its own sake being quite distinct. As based on
intellectual shock they imply a considerable intellectual integration,
and hence are by no means primitive in mental life, yet far from being
as late as emotion for knowledge _per se_. Wonder gives birth to the
Arabian Nights and to Jules Verne’s romances, but it always hinders true

Again, the pleasure and desire of achieving and achievement often plays
a large part in intellectual pursuits, as in a wide variety of activity.
Reaching an end merely for the sake of accomplishment, an emotion about
any end, as, for instance, a wide generalisation to be attained, merely
as end, intellectual action has in common with all other teleological
action, but the teleologic emotion is not distinctly intellectual. The
desire to achieve for achievement’s sake, to reach the satisfaction of
accomplishment, is extremely multiplex in its application. The man who
does a thing just to see if he can do it, who does feats of any kind is
obviously impelled by a different emotion from the one who performs the
same activity for the pleasure of the activity itself. He who plays a
game to succeed, and he who plays for the pleasurable activity involved,
are in very different frames of mind. And emotion for achievement is
generally complicated by desire to be thereby superior to one’s fellows.
The intense competitive struggle is plain in all departments even among
scientists. The emotion of competition, the earnest desire to surpass
others in interpreting nature and life is a tremendous force among all
scientific workers, and not even Darwin himself, exceptional though he
was, could keep out every vestige of _amour propre_.

We note also that love of any intellectual activity for its own sake, as
induction, must be distinguished from the love of truth. Here induction
is exercised, not for itself, but as a means to an end, truth; inducing
is not merely a pleasing exercise, but a means to accomplishment of a
definite result. Darwin, of course, a trained and habitual inductionist,
worked both from the pleasurability of the activity and from his
devotion to truth, to which this induction was the true method. Though
both these motives, love of an activity and love of some definite end
thereby attained, as truth, reputation, etc., are closely connected,
they are perfectly distinct modes of emotion, as the least reflection
convinces. Truth is some very wide permanent and significant conjuncture
of experience discovered and set forth, such as the origin of species in
progressive modification, or the intensity of light in inverse
proportion to the square of the distance, and this is the kind of
induction or conjoining demanded by the love of truth.

                              CHAPTER XVII
                        _THE ÆSTHETIC PSYCHOSIS_

The problem of the origin and nature of æsthetic feeling is a definite
psychological problem to be solved only by introspection careful and
prolonged. We must take simple cases and closely scrutinize them to
discover the distinctive quality, we must seek the cognitive, feeling,
will elements, we must note its kinship to other psychoses, we must
endeavour to analyse and determine whether it be simple or complex.
Analysis, indeed, as chemical analysis, _e.g._, is a reducing the
manifold to a comparatively few elements, from which by composition an
indefinite number of substances are formed. But in psychological study
we must proceed without any bias from physical investigation. We cannot
reduce mind to the mechanical development of a few simples as we survey
the development of matter chemically. If mind be essentially
self-activity, will effort, then conjunction of psychoses is due to a
conjoining activity, and is not mere aggregation. So in case of fear we
found a great complexity of conditions, yet fear in itself seems an
unanalyzable emotion wave. In taking up æsthetic psychosis we attempt an
unbiassed introspective study.

The æsthetic psychosis has been by many evolutionists connected with
sexual appetite and emotion. The evidence for this is that among animals
the brilliant-hued, and, as we term them, beautiful mates are chosen in
pairing time. Also graceful movements and melodious tones are then
employed. In mankind the æsthetic feeling, as every one may recall in
his own case, arose, and became prominent when near or in the teens. The
rude boy and the hoyden girl then dress and adorn themselves, and a
glamour of beauty is thrown about one who was once an entirely
indifferent object. All the surroundings, artificial and natural, of the
beloved object are looked upon and thought about in a new way of
feeling, an air of attractiveness and beauty envelops all. The period of
life of strongest sexuality, from twenty to forty, is also the period of
strongest æsthetic emotion. Further, sexuality is notedly strong among
those who professionally cultivate the æsthetic psychosis, as artists,
musicians, and poets: indeed, many of the very greatest of these have
been so carried away by the tender passion as to transgress the
conventions and laws on sexual matters. In cases of precocious sexuality
a feeling for the beautiful makes itself apparent; while with those who
slowly mature, the æsthetic feeling is similarly delayed. But does not
the infant who holds out a rose to you and cries “pretty,” have a
feeling for beauty? And it is surely unaffected by sexuality. What may
be in the mind of a child speaking thus is hard to make out, but the
activity is probably largely mimetic merely, and the term “pretty” is
probably used substantively rather than qualitatively; it is the name of
thing rather than quality. We certainly cannot assert of a child that
because it uses certain words it attaches to those words the proper
meanings. This is evident from the fact that a child taught to say
“pretty” will bring you any and every object and use the word, or if it
learns to take merely a class of objects, as rose, it does this at
dictation. The child is, however, obviously attracted by some objects
rather than others, but it would be hasty to say that it perceives their
beauty, when it is quite sufficient to regard them as conspicuous only,
and striking. But we have to touch on sensing later; and we only add to
the evidence of connection of feeling for beauty with sexual feeling,
that with the old and with eunuchs the æsthetic sense is but slight or
tends to vanish. Thus positively and negatively there seems to be
evidence that feeling for beauty originates in connection with sexual
passion, either that the object of the passion is always regarded as
beautiful, or that a feeling for beauty excites the passion. A girl
adorns herself to attract lovers, knowing that to admire beauty is the
first step to love. This close connection is recognised in common
consciousness in that “lovely” is synonymous with beautiful, thus a
“lovely” landscape or picture is a beautiful one.

That there is a close association of sexual with æsthetic psychosis is
then obvious in the case of the human being, but yet it would be quite
hasty to conclude that a sweet note or a pure colour may not be
æsthetically appreciated by children before they have the first stirring
toward sexuality, but still it is very easy—as I have before noted in
the case of the child who cries “pretty!”—to mistake the quality of
their interest.

But when we come to interpret the psychoses of the lower animals in
connection with sexuality we may still more easily slip into a doubtful
automorphism. Thus to say with Darwin, “When we behold a male bird
elaborately displaying ... before the female, ... it is impossible to
doubt that she admires the beauty of her male partner” (_Descent of
Man_, p. 92), or more strongly still with Grant Allen, “Every crow must
think its own mate _beautiful_” (_Mind_, v. 448), we too easily take for
granted that these birds would feel like ourselves in corresponding
circumstances. We can find a more simple explanation. That crows often
maltreat those who are off colour, _e.g._, white, plainly does not
require us to suppose that they regard white as ugly, black as
beautiful, any more than we should judge that students in some Society
who wear a black badge would be æsthetically moved when they look with
disfavour upon students who may wear a white badge. Animals are
clannish, and as a rule, suffer none but those who have the customary
marks to associate with them, and especially to propagate. Hence when
the peacock displays himself to his mate he simply shows to her that he
has most conspicuously the proper marks, and she sees that he is the
proper mate. These are signs of a tempting mate, just as here is
tempting food, a very red ripe berry, but the coloration no more in the
one case than the other awakens feeling for beauty. The hen bird
probably appreciates a red feather as a red berry merely as being signs
of the completely satisfying. Sexual selection, like nutriment
selection, is a discrimination according to certain characters as
prompted by appetite. The expanded and vari-coloured tail of a peacock
is then a mere sexual characteristic which does not imply feeling for
beauty in its appreciation as significant of sex. A small foot, long
hair, and other sexual characters in woman, which are attractive to men,
in like manner arouse emotion which is far from æsthetic. We may take a
perfectly unsexual æsthetic pleasure in long raven tresses just as we do
in an ebony table, but this is obviously rather late achievement.

In fact are not æsthetic and sexual feelings mutually exclusive? So far
as nude art is “suggestive,” so far is the feeling of its beauty lost,
hence sculpture is not tinted. And so in the presence of the nude model
the artist can have merely æsthetic emotion, whereas his visitor is apt
to have emotions of another sort. We do, indeed, say that the lover
dwells upon his mistress’ “beauties,” but beauties here mean
attractions, and to the devoted lover all parts are attractive, even
moles and freckles which to the æsthetic eye are ugly.

From the evidence in hand we judge then that it is certainly not
necessary to call in the feeling of the beautiful as the motive in the
origin and development of sexual characters in animals and plants. Just
as there is a cry of fear or a tone of anger there is a vocal expression
of sexual feeling and emotion which has its use and is recognised as
such, but whose æsthetic quality is no more a matter of immediate
apprehension than in other utilities. At least the safest interpretation
that we can now make for all the lower grades of sexuality is that sex
characters are not primarily determined by the feeling for beauty, but
are simply immediate signs of sex to awaken the sexual response and
secure the best mate. How is it that sexuality is so prominent in
expression among some species and so little among others?—compare
peacocks and blue jays—is a question on which we have no light. We are
also in ignorance how the particular sexual character was evolved and
not some other, for example, why is not the peacock’s tail red? Grant
Allen’s suggestion that food selection has influenced sex selection may
be true, but it would require a very wide and thorough investigation. Do
brilliant-hued birds prefer brilliant-hued foods? How is the coloration
of the scarlet tanager related to the coloration of its food? However,
if the colouring of foods and mates were the same, it would in some
cases lead to disadvantageous confusion, and on general principles we
should expect such distinct elements as nutrition and sex to develop on
very different lines. The cue for colour may be learned first with
reference to food, but it may be carried on as sexually significant on
very distinct lines. Still to distinguish a food or a mate by colour is
equally non-æsthetic in itself. At least we think it improbable that
æsthetic psychosis arises as incentive to or reflex of sexuality in any
of the lower psychic stages.

A theory of the origin of æsthetic psychosis which has been pressed by
some, as by Herbert Spencer, is that it arises as reflex from
spontaneous outflow of energy, or more particularly in connection with
play impulse. A horse turned loose in pasture may gambol, running,
sniffing, looking around, all which denoting a free outflow of energy
through lines of least resistance, the customary channels of activity.
But we cannot seriously think that in this sensing and muscular activity
there is implied any real æsthetic psychosis, and indeed it seems quite
emotionless. The emotion of fear or similar feelings aroused the
original activities, but this present galloping, etc., is automatic, and
such immediate pleasure as may result from this free activity is
scarcely of the æsthetic order. The whole is of a distinctly lower order
than the original activity and much below æsthetic quality. If we recall
our own state of mind in youthful “letting off steam” and in plays, we
do not find æsthetic pleasure. There is, however, a pleasure of relief
and also positively a pleasure from such spontaneous outflow; but the
outburst of pent-up energy automatically spent along lines of race
action is a mere echo, dies out at once, and as degenerate form is not a
starting point for origin of any new psychosis. Play as simulation of
feeling and action is also removed from æsthetic activity, as in a dog
playing at fear and running, or at anger and chasing. He gets a more or
less modified fear or anger, but there does not seem to be any tendency
to æsthetic psychosis. Mere imitation is more or less exact and skilful,
but emotion therein and thereat is plainly not the glow of æsthetic
emotion, but is reflex of sense of power and intelligence as qualities.
Mimicry as mere outlet of energy as with monkeys is plainly not
aesthetic; here is merely an automatic outflow of force into suggested
activity. When a savage as mimetic achievement carves the figure of man
as handle to a knife, he accomplishes art, but not fine art. He has no
more æsthetic feeling than a boy or man whittling out a ship, it being
merely an exact and skilful counterfeit of a real thing. Imitation for
the sake of imitation or to deceive is a teleologic pleasure distinct
from æsthetic. Successful imitation is often said, indeed, to be
“beautifully done,” but this means no more than well done. Even a
well-baked cake is popularly spoken of as beautifully done.

We observe that superfluous energy rushes out along customary or
habitual lines of activity, and so with perfect ease and economy.
Activity which is easy and free is in itself pleasant, and this
pleasantness in sensing and derived psychosis is æsthetic feeling. Where
sensing is mere escape valve of force, though facility is absolute,
there is, as just pointed out, no æsthetic quality, the whole tending to
the merely mechanical. Owing to the fact that in nature curved lines
predominate and so ocular adjustment is to them, my eye follows a curved
line easier than a straight one, hence when spontaneous energy outflows
in sensing activity of least resistance it will be toward curves. But
spontaneous activity of this kind is, as we have explained, not
æsthetic. The law of economy in a vent is, greatest force, least effect,
the contrary of the usual formula for economy which is, least force,
greatest effect. Where energy is expensive the latter rule is to be
applied. Thus in directed and effortful sensing activity economy means
the ratio of efficiency, the ratio of the amount of painful effort to
desired result. But this is merely a saving of pain and not a real
pleasure psychosis. When I, in using a microscope see clearly with less
and less effort the objects of my study, I may take pleasure in the
economical and facile accomplishment, but this pleasure is one of
satisfaction in power and skill, and so not at all æsthetic. Again, a
dyer has great skill and easy appreciation with respect to colour, but
the æsthetic side of colour is not thereby specially felt by him. Mere
habitual and easy colour sensitiveness is not then thereby æsthetic. We
must, indeed, sense a colour before we can feel its beauty, but the
feeling of beauty is not directly involved in any stage of the sensing
evolution from the earliest and most painful effort with bare
appreciation to the spontaneous and effortless sensing at the moment of
great surplus of sensing energy.

Another way of accounting for æsthetic psychosis is by association.
Pleasant sights, for instance, are those with which we associate
pleasure, and “pleasant” means to many, beautiful. But a traveller,
thirsty in a desert land, declares that he saw no more pleasant sight
than a mud hole, but this pleasure, as he himself would aver, was far
from æsthetic. Whatever we have associated pleasure with, we regard with
pleasure, but only as we have associated æsthetic pleasure with it do we
regard it with æsthetic pleasure. Thus mere association or revival no
more gives us the derivation of æsthetic than any other emotion. Any
pleasure or pain may be associated with any sensation or perception, and
thereby re-occur with these, but the mere revival obviously does not
alter the nature of the psychosis or give any new psychosis. It is not
what is recalled, but how we _feel about_ it that constitutes æsthetic
emotion. So also when the beautiful is defined by H. R. Marshall as “the
permanently pleasurable in revival,” we get no insight into the origin,
nature, and development of the æsthetic psychosis; this purely objective
description gives no psychological analysis. But we may question the
accuracy of the description. A thing of beauty is not a joy for ever
when we mean thereby the object which excites the æsthetic psychosis,
for much that has seemed beautiful to one people and age does not remain
so for all peoples and times, and even with the individual, taste
varies. We must also note that the permanently pleasurable in revival
may not be æsthetic, as the lover’s remembrance of a trysting place. On
the whole, I do not find that æsthetic pleasure is in any case to be
ascribed to association, though it comes under the general laws of
association like any other feeling. A lily excites various modes of
æsthetic impression by its form, colour, odour, poetical character,
etc., all which may re-awaken together upon any presentation or
suggestion of the lily. However, for the aboriginal lotus-eater the lily
was also a pleasant sight—but not æsthetic—from the associated pleasures
of its pleasant taste and as satisfying hunger.

We have implied throughout—and common introspection approves this—that
æsthetic pleasure and emotion is a distinct psychosis which somehow
arises with reference to objects. It is not some previous psychosis as
modified by association, habit, economy, play-impulse, or sexuality; but
it is a _sui generis_ mode which develops on the basis of a past
evolution. The simplest and earliest æsthetic mode is plainly the
sensuous. Very commonly when looking on the delicate solid-tinted glow
of early dawn I have æsthetic pleasure, my eye dwells on it with
pleasure and drinks in the pleasant light. It is obvious here that the
sensing activity is carried on, not to discriminate food or mate nor yet
as mere vent to energy; but the sensing here acts for the pleasure in
the activity itself. How and why mere cognitive act, which originates as
guide to life, acquires a direct pleasure value and so is carried on
apart from the ends of life, and initiates an æsthetic world of its own,
cannot on the face of it be explained by natural selection; it is
entirely apart from this order of things. But we know that sensing often
carries pleasure with it as significant of life value, thus the thing
tasting good was originally the good thing to eat, digest and
assimilate; so also for smell, etc. But under natural selection this
pleasure sanction and index was never cultivated for its own sake.

Now is there any real difference in the pleasure in, for instance,
smelling, for the pure pleasure of smelling, as a perfume of fresh
apples, and the pleasure from smelling the apples as detecting them when
you are hungry? “How pleasant those apples smell! I do not care to eat
them, but I just enjoy smelling them”; is the pleasure thus indicated
the same in quality with that of the man who says, “Those apples smell
so nice I would like to try one”? Again, if hungry, we say, “The bread
tastes so _good_,” but we notice this pleasantness rapidly decreases as
appetite is satisfied. However, if there be fresh grass butter, you may
continue to eat long after appetite is satisfied, for the pure pleasure
of the taste. Obviously, the latter pleasure is not a mere continuance
of the former. Relish and taste pleasure seem distinct. Again, a red
apple is a pleasant sight to a hungry man and to an artist in different
ways. If our pleasure in looking at a picture of an apple is such that
the mouth waters, we know at once that the pleasure is unæsthetic. He
who is very fond of apples, and to whom they are always a pleasant
sight, is so far barred from æsthetic pleasure in them; while he who has
no appreciation of their edibility is thereby prepared for æsthetically
sensing them. So also sour grapes are as pretty as sweet. The colour
sense began as discriminative of foods, and hence red became pleasurably
known, but æsthetic appreciation is certainly much later and quite
diverse. If it be asked how and when did red, already noticeable, become
dwelt upon æsthetically, all we can hazard in reply is that at some
leisure moment when unmoved by appetite a surplus of energy set up an
habitual sensing activity, as noticing reds, and at a certain stage when
some directing is exercised, there comes a unique pleasure from the mere
sensing, and the red is therefore _dwelt_ upon. Æsthetic colour-pleasure
in the simplest case arises then in every one’s experience.

Sense-pleasure is thus distinctly of two kinds, first, as arising in
direct connection with general organic demands and satisfactions—the
part as serving the whole; second, as arising immediately from the
sense-activity—the whole as serving the part. A monkey may find an apple
a pleasant sight, but loses all interest when the apple is seen to be an
imitation: the monkey has the first pleasure, but not the second. The
sensuous æsthetic problem is merely to introspect the quality of the
sensing-for-itself-pleasure as distinct from pleasantness coming from
the service of life. A sense which develops its own pleasurableness is
on a new line, which we term the æsthetic. Æsthetic activity is distinct
from mere vent activity of superfluous energy by reason of being carried
on self-directed by the felt pleasure of activity; it implies a measure
of self-direction and self-consciousness. Æsthetic activity may then be
generally described as primarily a sensing carried on, not as means, but
for its own sake in pleasure immediately resulting. And we find that in
this very general meaning all senses have their æsthetic activity. The
temperature sense is carried on, as in basking, for the pure pleasure of
warmth. A cat behind a stove is a connoisseur in æsthetic warmth
sensations, and enjoys warmth for its own sake, so far as often to
injure the organism as a whole. To lie in the sun and experience the
thrills of pleasurable warmth and to keep up this sensing merely for the
sensation pleasure is a frequent experience even with man. Again, the
muscular and pressure senses often have a sphere of æsthetic activity
with athletes and lovers of exercise. When in prime condition, a man
will toss weights about solely for the pleasure involved in the sense of
pressure and of muscular activity. Touch also is plainly æsthetic when
one handles silk for the pleasure involved in its smoothness. Smell is
obviously an æsthetic activity in smelling perfumes for the pleasure of
the smell. It is probable that the æsthetic activity of this sense is
far wider in some of the lower animals where the sense is much more
acute, as the dog. The dog is plainly having a very different psychosis
when he is smelling with pleasure a piece of meat which he is about to
eat, and when he sniffs carrion and perfumes himself therewith. He gets
thus a certain pleasant but gross stimulation quite akin to the pleasure
some men take in musk, an enjoyment of which is distinctly an animal
trait. Again, the epicure who sips his rare wine is tasting for the pure
pleasure of the taste, and exercises this sense æsthetically. The
æsthetic of all these senses may be called the lower æsthetic, in
contradistinction to the higher æsthetic of sight and hearing; but
æsthetic activity is throughout its whole range practically identical in
nature and in the quality of its pleasure. When I lie in the sun and get
warmth, not because I am cold, but for the mere pleasure of the warmth
thrills, and when I keep looking at a delicate tint in the evening sky
for the mere pleasure of the sensation, I have, as far as my
introspection assures me, activities whose method and pleasure tone is

Simple sensuous æsthetic is no doubt the beginning of æsthetic activity,
but there speedily enters much complication. It often happens that
single elements which separately do not excite us æsthetically will
produce a marked effect in conjunction, as complementary colours, for
instance. Indeed, relation plays so large a place in our æsthetic
experience that such principles as variety and contrast, or, on the
other hand, unity, order, proportion, and harmony, have been made
fundamental to the æsthetic feeling. Æsthetic effect certainly here
becomes a complex of two or more reinforcing sensations or perceptions.
Where the sensuous elements of a perception are in themselves pleasing
we may expect the unison in perception to be doubly pleasing. However,
we may also conceive that æsthetic pleasure arises as a reflex of
perceptive activity in and for itself as a co-ordinating of impressions.

Fechner has made some experiments on what combinations are pleasing; but
experiment in this direction is extremely difficult because so few
people are willing to speak frankly of their æsthetic feelings, being
very sensitive about compromising themselves on matters of taste. There
is also the great difficulty of isolation, of making sure that
association does not creep in and add unforeseen elements. If Fechner
expected to get any judgments of value on such a matter as the golden
section rectangle, he should have consulted only trained artists who are
used to taking up the æsthetic activity with reference to any material
and expressing themselves with freedom. If this rectangle has the
æsthetic quality Fechner’s experiments suggest, it seems strange it was
not adopted by the symmetry-loving Greeks in their temples, like the

To the spheres of simple and relational sense beauty we have to add a
third—representative beauty. A colour, or two or more in combination
which give æsthetic satisfaction, will also please in hallucinatory
vision and in representation proper where the revival is recognised in
its unreality and representative nature, and also in recollection where
the memory is willed. The mere imaging these colours without any
definite time relation also gives æsthetic pleasure. It is, indeed, a
pleonasm to say that æsthetic revivals are æsthetic. However,
imagination is productive as well as reproductive, hence the ideal
achieves a fuller beauty than the real. Where the mind, prompted by
æsthetic desire, determines its own object, this object can more fully
satisfy it than reality, which is always imperfect. Thus art surpasses
nature, or more strictly is a higher nature. Idealism then is a mode of
realism, and realism is but the ideal of actuality. But the imaging
activity may, like the perceptive, be considered as in itself a source
of æsthetic pleasure. Imaging is primarily used in the service of life,
as when walking in a forest I hear a peculiar cry, imagine a wolf, and
flee. When imaging has been largely developed thus, it may often act as
a mere vent to energy; but this kind of activity has here, no more than
elsewhere, real æsthetic quality. At the animistic stage children
imagine in this way long before they æsthetically image. When we
consciously and with some self-direction enjoy imaging for its own sake,
we attain the æsthetic sphere. The æsthetic pleasures which are
suggested by such a phrase as—

                “Fair ship, that from the Italian shore
                Sails the placid ocean plains”—

are not merely the sum of the original sense pleasures, but perceptive
and imaginative pleasure _per se_ is added, the image is more beautiful
than the real vision, and this perception than some sense element, as
the light sensation implied in “placid.”

Æsthetic pleasure, even in sense, and much more in perceiving and
imagining, is a _delight_, that is, æsthetic quality is an emotion
quality, it is not a mere feeling from an object, but a feeling about
it. Now emotion may be enacted for emotion’s sake and so an æsthetic
pleasure wave be generated. This is the pleasure we take in the
pathetic—pity, the sublime, fear as awe, the tragic-horror. These
emotions are realized for themselves as a mode of pleasurable activity.
Æsthetic emotion is also very largely emotion at emotion, as a feeling
for the expressive, still here the emotion is for its own sake.

Æsthetic activity may then be described as an independent self-activity
of some sense, or of perception, or imagination, or emotion as impelled
by a pleasure, this pleasure being a distinct and new form we term
æsthetic. It is probable this pleasure first arose in connection with
the exercise of the sense as a vent for spontaneous energy, and pleasure
once somehow being taken in a mere activity _per se_, it is thenceforth
conducted therefor. This is the plainest path of conjecture thus far. If
the first æsthetic pleasure were taken in some quiet moment of venting
energy in sensing red, then red will continue to be sensed, impelled by
the pleasure involved in the act. Granted such an origin, the
development of æsthetic psychosis can be traced in the way we have

Æsthetic psychosis is commonly regarded as passive, and it is indeed
true that the first moment of the pleasure _comes_ as result of an
activity impelled by other motives. New psychoses are not consciously
formed but are rather hit upon in natural development; but once a new
pleasure is felt its conditions will be attained and kept to by
conscious effort, and the pleasure itself will receive its development
only through effortful activity. It is by supreme effort the great
artist attains the vision of beauty, it is by supreme effort he
expresses this vision, it is by supreme effort the critic appreciates
this expression. He who has no appreciation of sculpture may by
patiently and earnestly observing statuary reach at length some æsthetic
pleasure. Thus the æsthetic, like all mental modes, so far as
progressive, is effortful; and it seems certain that the æsthetic
pleasures that come to us so easily are race acquirements, a heritage of
culture. From its first germ onwards æsthetic, like intellectual, like
moral, like all mental activity, is the achievement of intense struggle.

With the rise of beauty we have a new utility. Here is a new pleasure
which once experienced is sought and sought again, is developed, and
with some natures becomes absorbing passion, the life. Objects fitted to
give this pleasure are desired, are bought and sold. The beautiful is
used to effect all kinds of ends. The lover adorns himself to make
himself attractive, the advertiser distributes his bills in artistic
shape, the real estate dealer ornaments his houses and grounds. Whatever
will afford æsthetic pleasure we are willing to pay for and pay high. In
fact, in the person of a Patti the æsthetic thrill becomes the most
expensive taste which humanity can indulge. Art then is a utility—a
something which satisfies desire—and as such it is not free or
shareable. But one at a time can observe a picture from the best point
of view. Rich men buy the most sightly spots in nature, the places of
magnificent vistas and open to beautiful sunsets. Beautiful things are
then desirables just like edible things or warm things, and as such they
are not shareable. The feeling for beauty, just because it is
self-contained, is far from being disinterested. It is essentially

                             CHAPTER XVIII

Mr. Herbert Spencer’s famous essay, entitled, “The Philosophy of
Style”—by which is meant the Psychology of Style—propounds what we may
term the economic theory of literary effect. The secret, he tells us, of
the pleasing effect of diction, rhythm, figurative language, sentence
structure, lies in this, that these are labour-saving devices to
economize mental effort, that by their use we get with the least
attention the greatest apprehension; and hence we receive pleasure as
reflex of the facile and full cognition functioning. Literary pleasure
is thus brought under the law of pleasure in general. Take the quotation
from Shelley cited by Mr. Spencer:—

          “Methought among the lawns together
          We wandered, underneath the young grey dawn,
          And multitudes of dense white fleecy clouds
          Were wandering in thick flocks along the mountains,
          Shepherded by the slow unwilling wind.”

You have read this with pleasure, and is not the source of this pleasure
the ease and celerity with which the mind reaches the “desired
conception”? Vividly and forcibly the mind is led by cunning use of
phrase and rhythm and figure to realize the picture, and there is a glow
of pleasure in the reaction from the facility. Language is a medium for
the transfer of ideas, and when it accomplishes this office most
effectively, as in the present case, and acts upon the mind so clearly
and forcibly that _nolens volens_ the reader at once apprehends and
comprehends, he feels a thrill of pleasure therewith, just as there is
pleasure connected with the rapid and easy assimilation of well cooked
food. Before developing and criticising this theory I may remark in
passing that Blair, the rhetorician, in treating of the structure of
sentences foreshadows in a way the economic theory when he writes that
“to have the relation of every word and member of a sentence marked in
the most proper and distinct manner, gives, not clearness only, but
grace and beauty to a sentence, making the mind pass smoothly and
agreeably along the parts of it.” This surely implies that æsthetical
pleasure of style may be based in a psychological economy and facility.
It is indeed a commonplace remark, “The book is so well written that you
cannot mistake or miss its meaning”; wherein the identification of style
with intelligibility becomes a truism. Certainly Mr. Spencer has not in
the economic theory propounded anything radically new.

We note at the outset that while this pleasure of style may result from
economy it is not the pleasure of the conscious economizer. The reader
who is enjoying a very readable book has a distinct pleasure from him
who views with satisfaction his finishing a book at a great and
unexpected saving of mental energy. We have here the direct pleasure
from economical exercise of the faculties contrasted with the indirect
introspective-retrospective pleasure at economy effected. Many persons
take as much pleasure in making mental energy go as far as possible, but
this pleasure in economy is obviously not the pleasure of style, which
is not reflective, but naïve and direct impression.

Language, either spoken or written, by its more or less effective modes
of accomplishing its office does then awaken a simple and direct
pleasure, according to the general law that pleasure accompanies
efficient acts as a sanction and stimulus. It is obvious that style for
spoken language, oratorical style, is precedent in its formation to
style for written language or literary style, and that it has greatly
affected literary style throughout its whole history. Yet the
distinctness of the two modes is affirmed by the common observation that
a speech, impressively pleasing to listen to, often does not read well.
While it may be true that in its origin literary style borrowed certain
devices from oratorical, yet in its latest evolution the written page is
far from being the speaking page. The book is not a substitute speaker
addressing us, and modes of expression which are most fitting for
conversation and oration, though sometimes used by writers, are alien to
pure literary art. However, I cannot pursue this interesting subject,
nor yet can I here treat of the origin of style more than to merely
observe that it is considerably later than the origin of language
itself. Neither the original uncouth speech, whether interjectional or
onomatopoetic, nor the earliest rude inscriptions can be said to have
style, oratorical or literary. Style is the offspring of specialization;
it first appeared when men recognised some one as particularly gifted
for fitting expression, and chose him as spokesman because of this
ability to communicate what was desired to be said with special force
and clearness. Thus arises the orator who achieves and invents
oratorical style. Likewise the writer is one who is selected for his
special abilities in expression by word of pen, and the scribe, clerk,
and public letter writer arise and evolve literary style as a skilful
way of effectively conveying ideas and impressions by written language.
The reader is also evolved, and in the reciprocal relation of demand and
supply and the competitive struggle to secure readers, the writer seeks
ever more and more to please and interest by introducing and perfecting
various inventions to make the reading of his work very easy and
enjoyable. Thus it comes that readableness is the natural test for
reading matter.

The economic theory of style in fine art plainly implies at bottom
physiological economy, for all psychological economy can only be
effected on this basis. The psychology of style must rest on a
physiology of style. We know that the pleasures of form and colour in
sculpture and painting are the reflex of physiological functions as
easily and completely performed. The curve of beauty is such because the
eye follows it more easily than other lines; the pleasing colour is such
because the physiological stimulus is accomplished in a normal and
facile way. And as visibility is the test for the arts which appeal to
the eye, so audibility is for the fine art which appeals to the ear.
Pleasure from music is the reflex of aural functioning accomplishing the
most with least strain. Now the pleasure which comes from literary style
must similarly be sought in some physiological mode. While plain print
and good paper are incidental pleasures in reading, they are not
primarily due to the stylist, who does, however, appeal to the eye by
the due proportioning of long and short words, sentences and paragraphs.
Though there is no conscious intent by the stylist, yet it may be
believed that the use of certain letters and certain successions of
letters as more or less easy for the eye is a matter of some importance.
Some letters and some combinations are ocularly more pleasing than
others, and this is clearly founded on economic physiological
conditions. It is greatly to be desired that physiologists would invent
new alphabetical forms which should be most adapted to the eye. It is
scarcely to be supposed that our present A B C's are the simplest and
easiest line-combinations for the eye. When the visual side of reading
is made as easy as possible, the general reflex sense of facility and
pleasure therewith is certainly increased. The artificial languages now
being exploited, as Volapuk, ought and would effect a great
physiological saving, as would also be accomplished by a phonetic

But the direct visible function of style is certainly far inferior to
the indirect. The power of style is very largely in stimulating pleasing
visual images. The main element in literature we are told is vision and
imagination, which is but a restimulation and recombination of ocular
experiences. Sensation is the source and strong basis for all those
faint revivals which are so aptly and pleasantly called up by the
literary artist, and hence when the poet speaks of “the light which
never was on sea or land,” this is really meaningless, since all our
light impressions are terrestrial in their nature. To the blind man the
whole visual effect, direct and indirect, of style is lost; his imaging
power must be in some other sense.

Literature is then, like sculpture and painting, largely a visual art,
and its pleasure-giving quality is the reflex of visibility. Mere form
and colour may in a sense constitute a picture; though in general we
demand that it mean something, suggest something. A picture is such as
depicting something, and so being more than a study in form or colour.
The mere direct pleasure of ocular sensation plays a large part in
graphic and glyptic art, yet it is commonly conceived that some measure
of imagination, that is, some indirect visible function, is necessary
even here. Sculpture and painting depend like literature on both direct
and indirect vision as physiological and psychological basis of æsthetic

But in a secondary way literary style depends for its effect upon
auditory sensations both direct and revival. We mentally, and often
orally, pronounce as we read, and so appreciate sonorous quality and
onomatopoetic force. Alliteration, rhyme, euphony, and rhythm play
certainly a considerable part in the charm of style, and literature on
this side approaches and passes gradually into music. Euphony answers to
melody, and rhyme and rhythm to harmony. Literature may become for us
merely a succession of pleasing sounds, as when we hum over some
favourite lines of poetry, or when, ignorant of the Italian language, we
listen to an opera. Some of Milton’s lists of names in such lines as

                “Of Cambalu, seat of Cathayan Can,
                And Samarchand by Oxus, Temer’s throne”—

charm merely by the flow and fulness of sound. But the stylist aims, not
merely at formal sensuous beauty in tone and cadence of language, he
aims to suggest pleasing sounds, and to awaken the auditory imagination,
and to harmonize sense with sound as is done so successfully by poets
like Tennyson and prosaists like Sir Thomas Browne. All this auditory
side of literary style is lost on the deaf, as the visual is lost on the
blind. Literature as an art is neither blind like music nor deaf like
painting, but it is a compound art, visual-auditory, and thus, by virtue
of its range, is the greatest of the arts. It is true that indirectly
and in a very limited way painting can suggest sounds, and music sights,
but literature, both directly and indirectly, can freely and fully give
both. Word-music and word-painting are both methods of literary style.
In short, the explanation of the pleasure of style is pleasing sight or
sound directly or indirectly given, and the explanation of the pleasing
character of the sight or sound is as the reflex of easy economical
physiological functioning as basis of easy economical psychic function.

But we have now to ask whether economy of attention is the sole
psychological secret of style, and whether, indeed, it is always
necessary to style. Is style, like grammar or orthography, merely a more
or less conventionalized device to make intelligibility certain and
easy? Is our reading always the more pleasurable as it is the more
effortless? The pleasure of facility certainly bears a large part in
much of our literary enjoyment, but there is another and opposite law of
pleasure which, I think, often determines pleasure in style. To
accomplish much with no exertion, to slide down a long hill, gives
pleasure, but there is also a pleasure in exertion, in climbing hills as
well as sliding down. The pleasures of strenuous activity of attention
form a certain element in literary effect. The writer may do too much
for the reader, may make everything so simple and easy that the reader
has nothing to do, but is carried along without volition and curiosity,
losing all joy of attainment and grasp. For my own part, I often find
authors too fluent and facile, especially among the French, and
sometimes among the English, as, for instance, in some of John Stuart
Mill’s writings. These do not leave enough for me to do, and led
skilfully along so smooth a road that I am not conscious of moving, I
lose the pleasure of achievement, of the sense of enlargement of
conscious powers. Easy got, easy goes, is the law here as elsewhere. The
pleasure of acquirement is directly as the amount of attention

Mr. Spencer in discussing this matter remarks that, as “language is the
vehicle of thought, we may say that in all cases the friction and
inertia of the vehicle deduct from its efficiency, and that in
composition the chief thing to be done is, to reduce the friction and
inertia to the smallest amounts.” But it must be remembered that motion
is not only against friction but by friction. The rail may be too smooth
as well as too rough. Every locomotive, for a given piece of track with
a given gradient, has a certain co-efficient of friction for its most
effective working, above and below which there is alike decrease of
efficiency; and in engineering it is equally a problem to keep friction
up as to reduce it. So I say of style, that it may be too smooth and
facile, and may reduce mental friction to so low a point that there is
no grasp and no real progress. A sentence of Hooker or Milton,
magnificent stylists though they are, can, as an affair of economy of
attention, be greatly improved by breaking it up into a number of simple
plain sentences after the primer fashion, The cat mews, The dog barks,
etc.; but this process certainly is not an improvement of their style.
But if economy of attention were the sole secret of style, certainly the
more economy we introduce the greater and better should be the style.
Professor Sherman, of the University of Nebraska, in a recent article
shows that heaviness—that which requires “constant effort in reading”—is
due to the number of words _per_ sentence, which has been reduced in the
course of the history of English prose from an average of fifty words a
sentence in Chaucer and Spenser to five in the columns of a modern,
low-grade, popular story-paper; but it obviously cannot be maintained
that the style of the story-paper is ten times better than that of
Spenser’s _State of Ireland_.

We might then set up with plausibility an exactly opposite theory to the
economic, and maintain that the secret of style is in exciting us to the
greatest attentive effort, and that the best style is that which rouses
us to the severest mental exertion. However, I believe that these two
opposite methods of style are complementary. The great stylist is he who
strikes the exact mean between over facility and over difficulty, and
touches the exact co-efficient of mental friction in the reader, at
which his whole power of mind comes into highest and most harmonious and
effective exercise. The accomplished stylist most cleverly throws in
questions, suggests doubts, and defers answers. To read his book is not
a toboggan slide, but an obstacle race. What is plot interest but a
skilful putting of obstacles in the reader’s way, deferring and
thwarting his expectations, putting him on the _qui vive_ of attention?
By the development of plot the novelist and dramatist plays hide and
seek with the reader. No cunning artist reveals at once his whole
thought in a blaze of light, but he mystifies and draws in half-tones,
thus to stir you to reach out and grasp his meaning.

But we are as yet far from exhausting the psychological significance of
pleasure in style when we trace it to a reflex from either decrease or
increase of attentive effort. The pleasure we have so far considered is
naïve and direct; it is from literary art rather than in or at literary
art as such. The child and the most ordinary reader derive from books a
simple and natural pleasure which they do not reflect upon, and do not
in any wise conceive the ways and means by which the effect is produced.
Indeed, in the presence of the most lucid and perfect art these readers,
like Partridge at the play, take everything as a matter of course, as
just the way they would themselves express it. The _dilettante_ alone
tastes the pleasure in style as such; as an art, an adaptation of means
to ends, he alone appreciates the delicate adjustment of expression to
thought, the choice diction, the deft management of word and phrase. The
quality of this technical pleasure in style is exemplified in its
highest form in this note of a great artist-critic, Shelley, appended to
his fine translation of the opening chorus in “Faust”:—

"Such is a literal translation of this astonishing chorus; it is
impossible to represent in another language the melody of the
versification; even the volatile strength and delicacy of the ideas
escape in the crucible of translation, and its reader is surprised to
find a _caput mortuum_."

The psychological nature of this pleasure in style is obviously quite
distinct from the direct pleasures from reading which have been
previously discussed. Here is pleasure in literary art, not for what it
brings, but for its own sake. The distinction between the pleasure the
average tourist takes in travelling swiftly and smoothly in a _de luxe_
train, and that taken by the professional engineer inspecting the
high-speed locomotive, is analogous in quantity and quality to the
distinctive pleasures of critical and uncritical appreciation of fine
art. But we have as yet only cleared the ground toward ascertaining the
psychological _rationale_ of literary style. We have marked only general
causes of literary pleasure, we have noticed in this pleasure only those
elements which flow from the psychological and physiological basis of
all pleasure as reflex of functioning. That we admire and take pleasure
in nice adjustment of means to ends is also a general law of pleasure
with all who act teleologically, and are capable of appreciating actions
of this kind. But is there not a specific quality in the æsthetic
pleasure from or in literary art which has not yet been accounted for?
Certainly the common expression, “more forcible than elegant,” as
applied to spoken or written language, denotes that for the popular
consciousness style is somewhat more than and different from mere force
and consequent ease and largeness of apprehension. We hear a very loud
sound with greater ease than smaller sounds, there is economy of
attention, yet this does not bestow æsthetic quality on the great sound.
At the renderings of the finest music we are often called on to strain
the ear, and the mental receptiveness as a whole to the utmost, in order
to hear, note, and appreciate the delicate effects. So in literary art
it is not that which speaks most loudly and strongly to the mind that
thereby becomes the best style. In fact, the most forcible method of
expression is often, as is generally acknowledged, slang, which is
debarred from style. Literary style seems, then, more than a mental
labour-saving machine. As a utilitarian device it certainly does save
mental exertion, and gives rapidity, accuracy, and facility to psychic
function. Like grammar, a mechanic rhetoric is useful, and we receive a
pleasure from its use as from any other mechanism of man’s industry; and
further, we may take a certain pride and pleasure in its consciously
recognised effectiveness. However, we have not yet reached style in the
higher sense, which may be clear and forcible, but must be dignified,
graceful, and beautiful. For purposes of business, for conventional
communication, for science, for philosophy, language fulfils its end in
stating accurately, clearly, and forcibly; but style as literary art is
more than instrument to intelligibility, it has an independent office of
its own. Language in the lower service as a medium of communication is a
lens which cannot be too transparent; but in the higher service to fine
art, language is rather a mosaic window of stained glass which both
absorbs and transmits light, which both conceals and reveals, which we
look at as well as through. In literary art or style, language has a
value of beauty for itself alone, as well as a value of use as a means
of communication.

But the root of style is in emotion; it is as expression of emotion, and
in the main of one kind of emotion, that language rises to style. All
emotions influence language expression, and any one may, under certain
conditions, lead towards literary art; there is an eloquence of wrath
and of fear, of hate and of love, and these emotions may induce artistic
creativeness in written language; but the main impulse to art is in the
feeling for beauty _per se_. This is a certain mode of emotional delight
which every one who has felt it knows at once in its quality as quite
distinct as a psychic mode. How literary style rises and falls with
æsthetic emotion might be exemplified by a wide range of quotations, but
an example or two must suffice. This, from one of Shelley’s letters,
will, I trust, illustrate the point:—

  “MY DEAR P——, I wrote to you the day before our departure from Naples.
  We came by slow journeys, with our own horses, to Rome, resting one
  day at Mola di Gaeta, at the inn called Villa di Cicerone—from being
  built on the ruins of his villa, whose immense substructions overhang
  the sea, and are scattered among the orange groves. Nothing can be
  lovelier than the scene from the terraces of the inn. On one side
  precipitous mountains whose bases slope into an inclined plane of
  olive and orange copses, the latter forming, as it were, an emerald
  sky of leaves, starred with innumerable globes of their ripening
  fruit, whose rich splendour contrasted with the deep green foliage; on
  the other the sea, bounded on one side by the antique town of Gaeta,
  and the other by what appears to be an island, the promontory of
  Circe. From Gaeta to Terracina the whole scenery is of the most
  sublime character. At Terracina precipitous conical crags of immense
  height shoot into the sky and overhang the sea. At Albano we arrived
  again in sight of Rome. Arches after arches in unending lines
  stretching across the uninhabited wilderness, the blue defined line of
  the mountains seen between them, masses of nameless ruin standing like
  rocks out of the plain, and the plain itself, with its billowy and
  unequal surface, announced the neighbourhood of Rome. And what shall I
  say to you of Rome? If I speak of the inanimate ruins, the rude stones
  piled upon stones which are the sepulchres of the fame of those who
  once arrayed them with the beauty which has faded, will you believe me
  insensible to the vital, the almost breathing creations of genius yet
  subsisting in their perfection?”

This letter opens with language as method of conventional commonplace
communication. The second and third sentences are barely tinged by
æsthetic emotion, as in “immense substructions” and “lovelier”; but it
is not till the fourth sentence that style fairly begins. Then it
rapidly falls away in the fifth, sixth, and seventh sentences, to arise
again with a new wave of æsthetic emotion, which progresses through the
remainder of the quotation. The culminating points of the æsthetic
emotion are precisely the culminating points of style, namely, in the
phrases, “an emerald sky of leaves, starred with innumerable globes of
their ripening fruit,” and in “sepulchres of the fame of those who once
arrayed them with the beauty which has faded.” What constitutes the
peculiar attractiveness of these expressions is this, that they are rich
in æsthetic feeling, and communicate it to us. We are by the power of
style sharers in high delights. In the first case we are awakened to a
visualizing, to a sensuous beauty, though compounded with other
elements, through metaphor; and in the second case the emotion is a
complex of sensuous and spiritual elements.

Take also the verses from Shelley already quoted. Mr. Spencer, in
commenting on these lines, has correctly pitched upon the word
“shepherded” as the culminating point; but when he intimates that the
beauty and pleasing effect is due to the “distinctness with which it
calls up the feature of the scene, bringing the mind by a bound to the
desired conception,” we must dissent. This purely utilitarian
explanation fails to recognise that poetic metaphor is confusing—here
two classes of objects, clouds and sheep—and misleading, except to the
poetic mind. A writer who was aiming purely at clearness and correctness
of imaging, as a popular scientific writer, might mention the clouds as
like patches of white wool; but he would not bring in the extraneous
ideas of sheep and shepherd. If Mr. Spencer were trying to give us a
vivid idea of clouds, he would surely not speak in this purely poetic
fashion. It is a mode of fancy and emotion which the poet is indulging
when he writes these lines, and not an intellectual impulse to clarify
and illustrate. If Mr. Spencer receives them in this latter spirit, he
misses their psychic content and explanation. Poetry is only
intelligible to the poetic, and the German pedant who emended “Celia,
drink to me only with thine eyes,” to “Celia, wink to me only with thine
eyes,” was certainly economizing attention and rendering conception
easy, but at the expense of poetic beauty. The source of the pleasure we
take in poetic style—the highest and purest form of literary art—is
evidently not for its intelligibility, at least primarily, but its
æsthetic quality, an expression of a peculiar emotional attitude toward

To illustrate this psychological distinction between the sense of beauty
as inherent in style, and style as mere force and clearness, I instance
further only this sentence from Mr. W. D. Howell’s Italian sketches,
describing a side wheel steamer in motion: “The wheel of the steamer was
as usual chewing the sea, and finding it unpalatable, and making vain
efforts at expectoration.” This is the _ne plus ultra_ of a _pseudo_
literary style, of affected and strained literary art. An ugly metaphor,
forcible and clear enough, is relentlessly pursued to its ugliest
conclusion. Here is style in pin feathers, and we are glad to remember
that it was writ in callow youth. It brings “the mind by a bound to the
desired conception,” but this does not sanction it as fine art, for it
is utterly without taste and beauty.

I believe then from considering the previous examples—and they might be
indefinitely extended—that the main function of literary art is not
intelligibility, and that pleasure in style in its specific quality does
not arise out of economy of attention, but it is a direct communication
of pleasant æsthetic emotion artistically conveyed. Intelligibility is a
regulative by-law of art, but it is neither standard nor goal. Literary
art is then a compromise between intellectual and emotional motives,
between sense and sensibility. The natural choice and order of words for
easiest apprehension is rarely the artistic order, as every
_littérateur_ knows full well. It is, for example, simplest and clearest
to repeat the best and exact word, yet the literary artist avoids, and
rightly, the repetition of words in the same sentence or paragraph. Thus
also, while, as Mr. Spencer suggests, rhythm and euphony may often help
sense, yet I believe they as often distract from it. We often tend to
turn over in a very senseless way words and verses which please the ear.
As language is both an organ for meaning and for beauty, literary art,
like architectural, is always a compromise between utility and beauty,
that is, neither literature nor architecture are pure and perfectly
independent arts. However, it is possible that poetic license may, as
has already been done to some extent in English, ultimately develop a
pure poetic language, entirely distinct from the utilitarian product,
and bound by none of its practical rules; then and then only will
literature become a pure art.

Further, that literary art does not always imply clearness and
consequent economy of attention is evident when we reflect that the
nature of emotion is to disturb the mind, and hence also the language
expression. Incoherence, dimness, darkness, as qualities of æsthetic
emotion, render literary art correspondingly broken and obscure. The
weird, fantastic, and mysterious issues in style which is far from being
easily intelligible. In the dreamy poetry of the Orient all is hazy and
evanescent, and the mind strives in vain for clear impressions, yet here
is the peculiar charm of style. Among Occidentals William Blake, with
his childish incoherence, and Robert Browning, with his harsh
abruptness, have a certain obscurity, but both are great stylists and
great poets.

Style then is at bottom something quite distinct from either ease or
difficulty of apprehension. It is founded, not on apprehension at all,
but on emotional receptiveness. Hence very active and intellectual
natures seem ever debarred from really entering the realms of art,
because they ever fail to appreciate that the function of art is not
practical, or ethical, or scientific, or philosophic, but emotional. The
man of business, of politics, of science, of thought, cannot give
himself up without questioning to be thrilled and suffused by the
unanalyzable charm of mere beauty. Such natures seem incapable of
receiving, they must get and acquire, and so they miss all that art to
which the only open sesame is a quiet inattention and a wise
passiveness. The kingdom of art is not taken by violence, and the
violent do not take it by mere intellectual force.

As to the origin and nature of the feeling for beauty in style as for
beauty in general, the reason may be sought in survivals of primitive
pleasures. Thus the expression, before quoted, “starred with innumerable
globes of their ripening fruit,” aside from the pleasure in sonorous
quality and artistic construction, pleases mainly as awakening the
feeling for natural beauty. But what is the psychological explanation
for this æsthetic emotion in presence of tree, fruit, flower, sky, and
all landscape features. It may largely be a revival of feelings felt
long since by our arboreal and forest-haunting ancestors, “combinations
of states which were organized in the race, during barbarous times, when
its pleasurable activities were chiefly among the woods and waters”
(Spencer, _Psychology_, Sect. 214). In the woods and by the streams
there tends to revive the long outgrown physical emotion; the old savage
feelings of delight and excitement in the chase come back to the
civilized man, and in stealthy approach of game and skilful slaying the
modern man re-experiences far distant ancestral joys. Now literary art
by skilfully setting forth scenes of savage life may renew, the old
survival feelings to a certain degree of illusive life. This is done to
a large extent by pastoral poetry, mythic story, legend and fairy tale,
whereby we drop back into a very old and simple mode of enjoyable mental
life. The basis of primitive psychosis is in the particular concrete and
animate, and literary art, especially in its highest manifestation,
poetry, as becoming simple, sensuous, and impassioned, has a foundation
in survival tendencies. Through literature mankind renews its youth.
Similarly we may suppose that if in the future psychic evolution of the
race the present mode of thinking in general and abstract terms should
be succeeded by some new and higher phase, then the artificial
stimulating the revival of this outgrown abstract phase would constitute
a source of pleasure and might be achieved through a style. As a means
toward revivals literary style is a backward moving spirit in sharp
contrast to science, which, as generalizing and depersonifying, is the
forward moving process.

However, we have sharply to distinguish between what is given in a
survival state and that which accompanies it. Primitive realization is
always single and naïve, but when it comes up in a survival it is
generally consciously contrasted with accustomed modes by consciousness,
and there arises a reflective pleasure of contrast which is not
contained in the survival itself, but of which the survival is merely a
condition. Further, our realization of the outgrown psychic elements is
very generally dramatic. We take self-conscious pleasure in
investigating, assuming, and re-enacting past psychic phases. Even when
a survival state arises spontaneously and naturally, it holds
consciousness at best in its original _status_ for a moment only, for
self-consciousness quickly occurs and brings in a variety of secondary
emotions. However attained, the obsolescent type of consciousness does
not stand in its simple original force, but most often there is more or
less make-believe, some sense of its artificial and unreal nature: we do
not become children by playing at being children. Children and savages
are in the animistic psychic stage, but the poetic interpretation of
nature by adult man is plainly far more than mere revival of this stage,
it is dramatic self-conscious realization. Original animism is often
painful; the savage fears his gods and the child dreads ghosts; but
myths and ghost stories are sources of amusement to us, and the twinge
of fear which comes up as survival loses its real force and is
dramatically realized and enjoyed. Literary art is a dramatic induction
into the past rather than incentive to mere revival; and it makes us to
pleasurably renew alike the outgrown pains and pleasures. We certainly
should go far astray if we should consider style as effectual mainly by
its exciting to revival of ancestral experiences. What is recurrent is
but a small element compared to what is concurrent.

We must note the particular case of landscape beauty. Shelley’s
description of the orange tree laden with fruit excites in us the
feeling of pleasure in the beauty of nature, a feeling which is declared
by some to be merely the reminiscent revived feelings which our distant
progenitors felt in the presence of natural forms and forces. But what
was the emotion our remote progenitor felt at sight of a well-fruited
orange tree? Did he feel moved as Shelley was and as we through Shelley
are? and is our emotion but a faint survival of that which welled up in
him at viewing the mass of green and gold, or has it any relation
thereto? The civilized traveller in wild regions is often charmed by the
beauty of the scenery which the savage natives do not in the least
appreciate. But the revival feelings which come over him must be
identical with the feelings of his unæsthetic companions who are totally
insensible to natural beauty. The reversal tendency can give to the
traveller only an animal pleasure in viewing an orange tree as
satisfying to the taste and stomach; a fine, bright day can only suggest
the pleasure of a sluggish basking. Goethe rejoiced that, though the
incidental pains of æsthetic sensitivity were great, yet he could see in
a tree shedding its leaves more than the approach of winter. Bare
revival then cannot in itself constitute æsthetic pleasure or explain
it. A savage race transferred to a civilized land for a few generations
and then returned to their native haunts have acute pleasures of
revival, but these are not of the æsthetic quality. An outcropping
survival tendency may serve as itself an object for emotion and æsthetic
emotion to the mind experiencing it, but thereby the survival is like
any other object, physical or psychical, which excites æsthetic
sensibility, and it no more explains the emotion for beauty than any
other object.

It is evident thus far that the psychological basis of stylistic effect
is very complex, and in this essay we certainly lay no claim to making
an exhaustive enumeration of its factors. However, we have still to
consider one more element, and perhaps, at least for cultivated minds,
the most important psychic element of literary art. Read now the
following extract, and analyze the impression it makes:—

            “The natural thirst that ne’er is satisfied
              Excepting with the water for whose grace
              The woman of Samaria besought,
            Put me in travail, and haste goaded me
              Along the encumbered path behind my Leader,
              And I was pitying that righteous vengeance;
            And lo! in the same manner as Luke writeth
              That Christ appeared to two upon the way
              From the sepulchral cave already risen,
            A shade appeared to us, and came behind us,
              Down gazing on the prostrate multitude,
              Nor were we 'ware of it, until it spake,
            Saying, 'My brothers, may God give you peace.'”

Here, surely, is neither facility, nor beauty of expression, nor deft
and subtle art to please the mind, yet it attracts and interests. The
main secret of the effect of Dante’s style is as revelation of
personality. Art with Dante is the child of life, the product of long
and deep-felt experience; and because he is an original reality he
achieves in his writings that distinctiveness and distinction which is
the truest and highest mark of style. Again, it is not the lucidity of
Sam Weller’s remarks that pleases us, but rather their characteristic
flavour. We delight to come in contact with originals, and we relish the
characteristic for its own sake, even when ugly or when most unlike
ourselves in tendency, and so the modernest of the moderns enjoys Dante,
the typical mediævalist. Style is the man. This is the best definition
of style and the best explanation of its peculiar effect. Style is
expression of subjective quality. While scientist and philosopher aim to
be objective, to justly reflect and interpret outward reality the
literary artist aims merely to give a perfect exposition of himself.
Style is the literary expression of self-realization. Hence the greatest
stylists write to please themselves, and are their own severest critics.
Style is _timbre_, and the best style is that in which this peculiar
tone of the individual mind is most perfectly revealed. A great style
is, then, the expression of a great man, and the consummation of style
occurs when the genius has grown to the highest point of his
individuality—and individuality is genius—with corresponding power of
expression. Among Tennyson’s poems the most Tennysonian has the greatest
style. When we quote from Wordsworth such lines as,—

            “The world is too much with us: late and soon,
            Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers”—

and say of them that they are eminently Wordsworthian, that no one else
could have written them, we have said the highest word for the style.

In the very largest sense style is the evolution of the characteristic;
development physical and psychical is but a movement toward style. The
progress from homogeneity to heterogeneity in matter; the morphological
development of animate things from indefinite formless beings to
definite, complex types; biological integration and specialization—all
this is progress of style. Thus the most lion-like lion and the most
elephantine elephant respectively achieve the highest style of animal in
their kind. The development in the human race is mainly psychic, and
includes psychic classes, orders, genera and species, not as yet so
clearly tabulated as in general natural history. A genius is the
inauguration of a new _genus_, style, or type of man; he is a psychic
“sport,” to borrow a botanical term. A new mode of personality is
achieved and may manifest itself in various ways of action, thought and
emotion. If the expression is through literature a great style is
generated, and this style grows with the growing individuality—the
productions of youth have little style—and culminates with its

To discover style is almost as rare a gift as to achieve it. The
critical sense is about as uncommon as the creative power; hence the
greatest masters of style have had often to wait long for recognition,
which would hardly be the case if the main value of style was in
economising attention. According to this theory, we should expect the
stylist to be welcomed with instant and universal appreciation, a
phenomenon which rarely or never occurs. With very many writers, as with
Wordsworth, recognition is very tardy, and with some only posthumous.
Many readers fail even with the utmost attention to appreciate the
greatest artists, and can make nothing out of them; a few rise at length
to some understanding; but only rare and select spirits find themselves
at once _en rapport_. The true _connoisseur_ and critic must introduce
and interpret to us the characteristic quality or style of the
_littérateur_, else we may never know and feel it. Recognition and
appreciation of style as the characteristic is, then, for the vast
majority an acquired taste; it is slowly and painfully learned, and so
the emotion for style as specific mode of expression must be pronounced
a very late psychic development.

The taste and emotion for the characteristic as such, whenever and
however acquired, is certainly a peculiar and definite mode of emotion.
It is far from being the feeling of discipleship, and is often excited
by that which is most remote and opposite to ourselves. We say of a
certain person, “He is a _character_,” and he interests and pleases us
as such, though entirely foreign to us in either sympathy or antipathy.
As an entirely disinterested emotion, the æsthetic is beyond the range
of common naïve consciousness. The enjoyment of the characteristic _per
se_ is specially for the analytically super-conscious cosmopolite and
for the cultured critic. The pleasure comes partly from the novelty and
the contrast reflectively understood, partly from admiration for the
forcefulness of creative personality, its plastic power in forming its
material of expression, and largely a teleologic pleasure in perceiving
fulness and purity of type. The emotion for style as characteristic
expression is plainly one of those which is not due to the utility in
the struggle for existence, but has arisen when experience comes to be
cultivated for its own sake.

When, as in eras like our own, personality weakens, and the inner
plastic and creative force of conviction and emotion decreases, the
writer is driven to technical treatment. The _littérateur_, as he has
little or nothing to say, contents himself with playing tricks on
language, and elaborating rhythms and cadences. Style becomes finicky; a
race of prinking poetasters and priggish prosaists arise, punctiliously
formal, and superlatively dainty, who attain the art of saying nothing
very elegantly, elaborately, and brilliantly. An over-conscious,
over-subtle technique destroys the grand style as transmitter of
characteristic quality.

                  *       *       *       *       *

I trust I have, in this brief study, made it clear that the psychology
of literary style is far from simple, and that a number of factors are
involved, which are slighted by Herbert Spencer and others of that
school. I believe that any one at all conversant with literature who
will reflect upon the pleasures he receives from reading, will perceive
that the pleasure of smoothness and facility, of moving along rapidly
and easily, is but one, and that generally a minor factor in literary
enjoyment. Beside this, he often has the pleasure of difficulties
overcome, of ideas grasped, and delicate emotional touches appreciated
by triumphant attentive effort. Again, he receives pleasure in
perceiving literary skill, the adaptation of artistic means to the
artistic end. But, as I have maintained, the chief mode of pleasure is
through style as transmitter of æsthetic emotion and as expression of
the characteristic, achieving its acme when both these functions are
simultaneously performed most fully and perfectly.

                              CHAPTER XIX
                           _ETHICAL EMOTION_

The need of a closer psychological definition and interpretation of
ethical emotion must be apparent to any reader of the current
psychology, where we find the utmost confusion and looseness of usage.
One of the most glaring instances which I have come across is this from
Perez (_First Three Years of Childhood_, p. 286): “As soon as the child
begins to obey, from fear or from habit, he enters on the possession of
the moral sense; as soon as he obeys in order to be rewarded or praised
or to give pleasure, he has advanced further in this possession.” A boy
at table reaches out for the last piece of cake, but withdraws his hand
out of love for his mother’s approbation, and fear of her
disapprobation. Does this imply moral sense and emotion? We say, indeed,
that these were very proper and moral emotions for the child to have;
objectively moral, but we do not describe the psychical state of the
child correctly by saying that it has the moral sense and emotion. In
fact, just so far as he acts out of love or fear, just so far he is not
acting out of ethical emotion; that is, simply because he feels he

Only the slightest introspection, then, is needed to recognise the
distinction of objective and subjective morality, of a moral emotion and
the emotion of morality. So we must disallow even dread of “moral
discomfort” as psychically moral, Spencer notwithstanding (_Essays_ I.,
p. 348). The fear of remorse may restrain from objectively immoral acts,
but the ethical emotion is not a fear constraint, as every one knows
when doing a thing simply because he feels he ought to. Because I judge
my feeling or act a right one, does not constitute this the feeling of
rightness as psychic fact. In short, we must always distinguish between
the socially right action, the morally right action, and the
psychologically moral action. He who erects a model tenement, even
though he do it to advertise himself, is doing the right thing by
society, though his action is neither prompted by a moral emotion nor
the moral emotion. If philanthropy incites him, both the act and feeling
objectively are moral, but psychically he is immoral, and only becomes
psychically moral when he acts out of the ethical emotion as feeling of
duty. One who acts out of sympathy, pity, mercy, affection, feeling of
honour, love of approbation, and similar emotions, often confounded with
the moral emotion, is objectively moral. We pronounce these to be right
emotions, yet they are not the emotion of right, and so not psychically
moral; and it is evident, also, that they may not be socially right, for
often actions from these motives result in social wrongs. However, in
later phases of psychic evolution, when emotions themselves are
reflected upon as psychic acts, the emotion of the moral “ought” may be
felt as stimulus to them, and so we may at once feel that we ought to
sympathise, and so sympathise, and so act, and may thus at the same time
be psychically, morally and socially right.

But while the nature and rise of ethical emotion is often untruly
connected with some one kind of act, as obedience, or with some one kind
of motive, as love of reward, a far more likely field of investigation
is opened by those who connect feeling of duty with conflict of motives.
Yet it is obvious at first sight that mere opposition of any two psychic
factors is not a distinct feeling. I have seen my dog run away from me
to follow some canine friend, and then back to follow, and so on, till
one affection became dominant force; but such simple interference of
emotions does not constitute any third and new or higher emotion.
Conflicts of this sort in higher natures have sometimes a reflex
psychosis in painful feeling of distraction and bewilderment, but this
is the end of the natural course of feeling conflicts.

There are, however, higher phases of conflict of motives which may bring
us nearer to ethical emotion. A burglar, the evening he is to crack a
safe, is inclined to indulge in several glasses of wine, but his
companion remarks that he ought not to drink if he expects to do the
job. Here is something to be done, a duty, and under the compulsive
force of the feeling of this duty the burglar lays down his glass
untouched. Is not the psychic phenomenon really a case of the ethical
emotion as involved in the thwarting of present inclination for the
right carrying out of the thing to be done? A feeling for that which is
laid upon us to be done, whether we lay it upon ourselves, or it is laid
upon us by others, has certainly the compulsory quality which we
commonly attribute to the ethical emotion. When we have set out to do
something, this pre-determination exercises a peculiar pressure when
some diverse inclination enters, but it is the force of firmly-formed
purpose and of tenacious will. Its compulsiveness is not ethical, but
volitional. A very little reflection convinces me that something to be
done, and something which ought to be done, incite distinct emotions. I
feel differently when I go to church, because I have planned to go, or
have been told to go, and when I go simply because I feel I ought. There
is also superadded, the purely impulsive force of the emotion for the
larger good; and this may, indeed, play the whole part in the contest
with present inclination, which contest then becomes of the simple
alternating order. Thus the burglar has avaricious visions of gold, and
relaxes his cup; he looks at the tempting wine, and grasps it again, and
so on.

It is true, however, that the feeling for the larger and future good
against a present inclination may be a feeling of oughtness, a feeling
of duty, a constraining to do a set something. Providence and prudential
action are enforced not merely by, “I wish to get the larger good,” but,
“I ought to reach it.” The most permanent, the greatest and completest
pleasure and benefit not only incites us, but constrains us.
Constraining emotion, a feeling of oughtness, may then arise both from a
preview of bare accomplishment of plan or purpose set by ourselves or
others, and also from sense of larger over lesser advantage. Here is the
region of utilitarian duty, of the Ethics of calculation of personal
pleasure and happiness. Psychically here is a true feeling of ought, and
here is the ethical emotion, if we make the term denominate all feeling
of oughtness. But if this is the region of Ethics, it may be said to be
the region of the lower Ethics, and we may indeed deny the term ethical
to all this kind of emotion of oughtness. The emotion arises about
personal and particular ends, and not about principles. The ambitious
man feels an ought as well as the conscientious, but they are diverse in
nature. Alike merely in the general quality of compulsive force, they
may differ in tone and special qualities. The constraining emotion which
comes with viewing a universal law of right may be claimed as distinct
from the constraint exercised by personal ends. But it is not our
purpose to discuss this matter here.

The psychic conflict which is specially connected with moral emotion is
the conflict of the egoistic and altruistic impulses. When in such a
struggle sympathy prevails, we approve as objectively moral and right,
but the existence of ethical emotion in determining the dominance of the
altruism is not assured. Pity originally overcame hatred without the
compulsion of duty. Altruistic impulses contest with egoistic in naïve
and simple natures without any appearance of feeling for duty. The
origin and nature of morality does not thus seem bound up with the
earliest forms of egoistic-altruistic contests, though in later
evolution it may come in as reinforcement of the altruistic. We may feel
then, not merely like helping a man in distress at the expense of our
own comfort, but we feel we ought to help him; the force of a general
principle of conduct is felt in the form we term the ethical emotion,
yet it is obvious that such a recognition of a general and universal law
and such a feeling therefor is far later than the rise of altruism
itself. Darwin alludes to the baulking of the social instinct as having
special ethical significance. With the social instinct baulked, as with
any other, there certainly results distress, but it is by no means made
clear that this necessarily involves moral quality. When a savage in a
fit of anger slays his pet child, the misery of baulked parental
instinct may soon be felt, and he may bitterly regret the deed, but this
does not involve moral feeling, a feeling of repentance for the
essential wrongfulness of the act. He would regret in the same spirit
the destroying his dinner by his own hand. If we say that he is stricken
with remorse, we assert conscience violated. Remorse cannot explain
conscience, but must be explained by it. Still, morality is not bound up
necessarily with sociality. Sociality certainly arises and progresses to
a considerable evolution before moral compulsion and the emotion of bare
rightness arises to sanction and to stimulate social activities. And if
moral emotion is not implied positively in altruism as an outgoing
towards others, neither is it implied in the incoming of others upon the
individual, either in respect of approbation or disapprobation, or in
the more direct and essential way of rewards and penalties. Penalty is
at bottom but a species of disadvantage brought to bear on the
individual through fear of consequences. The desire to get even—an eye
for an eye and a tooth for a tooth—and all exacting justice as an
equivalence, whether as exacted by the individual or by persons
delegated, the officers of justice, is plainly not in its origin and
basis the ethical emotion. A system of mutual dues and rights may or may
not have the sanction of morality, but they arise in advantage; and the
motives which originate penalties and act with reference thereto, are
far from being the pure moral emotion, a direct feeling for rightness as
rightness. The merchant in general pays his import _duty_, not as a
moral duty, but as something required by legality rather than morality.
Law and public sentiment exercise through emotion, and that of a
compulsory type, certain effects on conduct, but it is clear that the
general feeling of oughtness as self-imposed law of rightness is not

                  *       *       *       *       *

If the ethical emotion be not specially bound up with obedience or with
conflict of motives, may it not be particularly connected with science?
At the outset we note that a very natural confusion of science and
Ethics is favoured by the fact that we can apply the term Ethics both to
the science and the matter treated, and so speak of the science Ethics
as the science of Ethics, of ethical perception, emotion and action. But
yet we know that the science is by no means to be identified with its
subject matter, and also that the science of a matter and the Ethics of
it are two very diverse psychic tendencies and points of view. Science
is always an objectifying impulse whose end is merely to know, but
Ethics is subjective, whose end is merely to be. This is emphasized by
the fact that science in its ceaseless objectifying may constitute a
science of science, and science of the science of science, and so on,
but Ethics is self-contained, and there can be no Ethics of Ethics.
While we so sharply distinguish scientific and ethical activity, yet so
far as the science is prompted by ethical emotion it is ethical
activity. If I learn and know out of the feeling of duty, the act is
psychically moral, yet is always distinct in quality from the feeling
which prompts it. Thus there is an Ethics of science, or rather, to or
toward science, though most scientific activity is carried on at the
stimulus of other impulses, as love of truth, ambition, etc.
Psychologically speaking, then, science is in no wise Ethics nor Ethics

But it will be said, “Is not ethical discrimination a cognitive
activity? Must not one know the right, know that he ought, before he can
feel ethically and act ethically?” But it will be found that at bottom
the rightness of an action is the appreciated accord of the action with
an end which is already felt to be right. I am asked whether I think it
was right for a certain poor man to purloin a loaf from a baker for his
starving family. In passing ethical judgment I simply fall back on some
ethical postulate. The right of the family to life, I may say, ought to
take precedence of the right of property. I therein fall back upon the
simple feeling of right as ethical emotion. The knowing activity is
concerned merely in the apprehending the situation, and ratiocination in
tracing back to moral principles, but the ethical discrimination is
neither, but an affair of direct emotion. If it be felt to be right to
save life in any wise that seems necessary, I will approve it as right.
A reason can only make an act right by being a right reason. Thus it is
that moral discrimination is at bottom no more than a peculiar feeling
about acts, towards or against the doing them, which, like all emotion,
involves the knowing its object, but is not involved or explained in its
psychic quality by the knowing act. The setting out what ought to be
done, the establishing duties and moral rules of conduct, the
development of a system of Ethics, is not then fundamentally cognitive
process, but emotive. Hence it is, psychically speaking, a misnomer to
denote any system of Ethics a science.

It is true we may denote by Ethics—always capitalizing the term—that
branch of psychology and sociology which investigates the nature and
laws of ethical phenomena. This Ethics merely gives an objective account
of ethical emotion and conduct. It is often defined as the science of
conduct, a definition quite too wide, for conduct is action consciously
self-directed to an end, be the impulse anger, fear, love, ethical
emotion, or any other emotion; but psychological Ethics studies only
conduct as moved by ethical emotion. Conduct is, indeed, the sphere for
ethical feeling, and any specimen of conduct, whatever its psychic
stimulus, may excite moral approval or disapproval and stir ethical
emotion, but this ethical survey of conduct is not properly a science,
as has just been shown. All conduct is then objectively interpretable as
moral, though it be inherently and psychologically immoral, that is,
having no element of moral feeling. The spheres of objective and
subjective morality are far from being coincident.

Further, science is not peculiarly related above common knowledge to
ethical emotion. Common sense and ordinary fear lead me to jump off the
track before an approaching train, while physiological knowledge and
ordinary fear may incite me to put on rubbers on a wet day. Scientific
knowledge opens the way for the common emotions; it shows the
consequences of acts with fulness and accuracy, and so opens a wide
range for the ordinary emotions which awake at sight of the experienced
and experienceable. If I feel I ought to put on rubbers, this feeling
arises, not directly at the consequences which science reveals, but at
the rightness of the consequences. I feel I ought not to injure my
health, a feeling which science does not generate, but it merely
establishes the fact that such and such actions will injure my health,
and so gives the opportunity of applying the moral postulate, I ought
not to injure my health. I judge the rightness of an act, not by its
consequences, but by the rightness of its consequences.

Again, science reveals most clearly the necessary means to ends; it says
that to make nitro-glycerine you must use such and such ingredients. In
viewing these means in their necessity there may arise a certain emotion
of compulsion to their use; but this compulsive quality is not, I ought
to do so and so, but I must, if I would attain the end. It is plainly an
unethical use of terms to say, If you wish to succeed or be happy you
ought to do so and so, or that is the right way to succeed or be happy.
Morality is not a recipe toward any end but itself. So the feeling as to
the “Conditions by fulfilment of which happiness is achieved”—emphasized
by Spencer in the principles of Ethics as the main element in moral
emotion—is not real ethical emotion. I may feel the constraint and
necessity to using certain means, difficult and unpleasant in
themselves, in order to reach a desired end, but a moment’s
introspection shows that this compulsive emotion is not thereby moral,
that this feeling is not a feeling of duty but of necessity to employ
the means. If I feel that I ought to become happy, then alone will I
feel I ought to use the means to happiness. So also a man may desire to
win in athletic competition, but the requisite means, a hard course of
training, may deter him from entering; that is, his love of ease
conflicts and overcomes his desire of athletic success as far as action
is concerned. If he undertakes the training and struggles through, he
feels the compulsion of the means in direct proportion to his love of
ease and pleasure. He refuses a cigar under this emotion at the
necessity of the means, but this is plainly not a case of ethical
emotion; he refuses, not because he ought, but because he must, and the
trainer who says to him, “You ought not to take that cigar,” does not
primarily appeal to moral principle, but to the constraint of the means
to desired end. This does not deny that a man may feel training as a
matter of duty, but it is still obvious that he who refuses a cigar as a
mere matter of training, is as psychic fact actuated by an emotion of
distinct quality from that which the man feels who refuses to smoke as a
matter of conscience; the feeling, “I must not,” is diverse from the
feeling implied in, “I ought not.” The athlete may be conscientiously an
athlete, but in general he refuses to smoke merely because that is the
right stand, _i.e._, suitable to gaining the particular desired end,
whereas the conscientious man refuses as determined by a feeling for
some end whose rightness is assumed, as the preservation of health, or
the being inoffensive to others. The athlete is moved by what is right
or useful to some end, while the psychically moral man is actuated by
the emotion for the end of rightness; and while constraint appears as
characteristic of both emotions, still in breadth, depth, and particular
tone, the ethical is plainly differentiated from the necessitarian
emotion. At bottom also it is plain that the feeling of compulsion to
means is a case of conflict of motives—as with the athlete is love of
pleasure of smoking _versus_ desire of athletic success—and conflict of
motives has been previously discussed.

Neither scientific nor common knowledge then can as method of means give
by itself the moral emotion. But it may be said that science does
provide ends for action and that the emotion about the end is an ethical
emotion. Thus the end of truth, of adherence to reality, is naturally
emphasized by science; yet here is not duty, but the essential guiding
emotion is the emotion for achievement and the achievement of the
desired accordance with nicety and completeness. The enthusiasm for
truth and truth in action is an emotion which may be sanctioned by moral
feeling, but it is not moral feeling. Adaptation to environment or
conformity to reality as a general end of action may have its impetus in
moral emotion, I may feel that I ought to accord with the nature of
things as scientifically revealed, but this motive is by no means
necessarily implied in the end. And conduct is rarely actuated by pure
sentiment for this end; rather the general form is, “Do this and thou
shalt live”; that is, the emotion is desire for personal ends to which
accordance with nature is the means.

Again, take a suggestion of end for conduct from some special science.
For instance, Biology marks as the general result of the struggle for
existence and of natural selection, the perfection—practical and
relative—of the kind. Thus the result, that is, end unconsciously
achieved, of the life of deer is power of locomotion and keenness of
scent, while with man the tendency of evolution is toward brain power.
Man obviously is able to consciously make an evolution tendency an end,
to conduct himself with reference to it, and thus man’s life may be a
conscious and strenuous carrying out of tendency. A constraint arises
from this end as from others, but it is not moral constraint, till the
end has been adjudged right; thus this end does not explain rightness.
The aspiration toward self-culture and self-fulfilment is not
psychically moral, nor yet the determination to achieve this perfection.
Perfection, be it remarked, is not an end, but the measure of attainment
of any end; a perfect man is one who is complete in certain respects.
Morality is not the carrying out any end, perfectly or imperfectly, be
it pleasing, satisfactory, true, good, etc., but it pursues and is
pursued by the right end, which is rightness as universal,
authoritative, compulsive, self-approved, impersonal law. The emotion of
oughtness in its purely ethical form is responsive to this alone. Purely
moral emotion as psychic fact, is not any feeling for any _summum bonum_
or any perfection of attainment of any kind, but is an emotion for the
right for its own sake. It is neglectful of all consequences, and cries,
“Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.” We all know the distinct
difference in quality of feeling when acting merely to do my duty and
when acting to achieve an end for the achievement’s sake or for the good
implied. Ethical emotion may arise about any extrinsic end, but does not
arise out of it.

We conclude then that as psychical fact there is a variety of compulsory
emotions, an ought of law as behest of others, an ought of means, an
ought of end, an ought of advantage, an ought of bare moral rightness,
and that this latter emotion, as every one knows by introspection, has
its own peculiar quality and force. He who feels constraint from
authority, from use of means, from end purposed, is plainly feeling
different from him who feels the constraining emotion at moral right.
And the law which says, “Do this and thou shalt live,” does not bring
moral pressure, for the moral law says, “Do this whether thou livest or
not”; that is, moral emotion and activity is not consciously to itself a
life factor. As a matter of psychic fact a world of moral activity
exists solely for and in itself, and the emotion in this sphere of
absolute morality, in which many conscientious people live habitually,
is ethical emotion in the narrow and strict sense of the term. The
immediate feeling of absolute rightness—so-called intuitive
morality—however and whenever it has arisen, seems to present itself as
mental factor radically diverse from all emotions of means, ends, and

Here we may criticise a so-called rule of moral conduct to which appeal
is often made, namely, the rule that we ought to do as we would be done
by. We know, indeed, that the principle of equivalence is strong in
society, and that if we wish to be well treated we should treat others
well. However, to do as we would be done by, in order that we may be
done by as we would, transforms moral precept into prudential maxim.
Here is a method of advantage: in order to attain the given end we ought
to do so and so, but the purely ethical emotion is not aroused. But
further, interpret the rule as simple universal moral law that we ought
to do as we would be done by. This involves putting ourselves in
another’s place and considering how we would like to be treated under
the circumstances, and so treating him. This is hedonistic altruism, and
its measure is crude and unreliable, for what might please me in a given
case might not please another. This automorphic interpretation is,
however, extremely common, especially in lower psychism. The child and
the savage judge inevitably and naturally that they are giving you the
greatest pleasure when they share their dainties with you. But slowly is
individuality of taste recognised, and still more slowly recognised as
proper and right. Still a hedonistic altruism, whether by mistaken mode
of putting yourself in his place, or by true measure of realizing what
he is in his own place and acting accordingly, on either method is of
very doubtful morality if judged by any high standard. Indeed,
hedonistic altruism, whatever its motive, has wrought both incalculable
injury and unrighteousness, whether as a weak sentimentalism as seen,
for instance, in promiscuous charity, or in more special forms, like
parental indulgence. Ethical emotion which seeks to be directed in its
action by an extraneous measure adulterates itself. We ought not to do
to others as we would like them to do by us, nor yet as they would like,
nor yet merely as we feel they ought to be treated, but the real golden
rule is, we ought to do by others as we feel that they in their own
nature and position ought to be done by. This is no more than to say
that we ought to do by others as we ought, a moral identical
proposition; and the reducing to this shows that moral emotion rests
only on itself. The end of pure ethical conduct is always and ever
merely to fulfil righteousness everywhere or to secure its fulfilment
everywhere, to help and forward all doing right. The so-called golden
rule may have its place, as undoubtedly it was meant, as propædeutic to
a kingdom of righteousness, but it has not pure ethical quality in

                               CHAPTER XX
                      _THE EXPRESSION OF FEELING_

The primary function of mentality, as we have throughout assumed, is as
stimulant to activities advantageous to the individual under the
conditions of its existence; hence all these activities are in a broad
sense expressions of mental state, they are the outflow of psychoses and
are indicative of them. In particular, feeling is specially and directly
related to motor values, which thus become to the self-observant or to
others observant an index or expression of the feeling. Thus, I see a
deer fleeing from a wolf, and I infer that this is an expression of
fear. Hence we may rightly say that in a large sense all action is
expression, for all such action rises in feeling; in other words, from
one point of view expression equals action. Not only may exterior bodily
phenomena betray the feeling which is their inciting cause, but to a
vivisectionist, for example, interior phenomena, cerebral and other, may
be noted as indicating a feeling origin. Excluding, of course, so-called
reflex action, which is really reflex motion, action and expression are
but different points of view of the same thing: what we term an action
when we dwell upon the motor side, we term an expression when we dwell
on the mental _prius_ and stimulus which is revealed.

Now as the evolution of mind progresses actions no longer serviceable
may survive in connection with given feelings, remain indicative of
them; thus the strong beating of the heart in fear and the scowl in
anger. Such survival actions which occur in connection with all kinds of
feelings, and especially with those which are pre-human in their origin,
are with particular emphasis styled expressions. The scowl in anger is
considered as expression rather than the actual blow struck, which is
equally the result and indication of anger.[F]


Footnote F:

  Wundt says that when in emotion we look “sour” we think we are
  actually tasting the sour, and so make the repulsing action, “sour”
  look. (_Lectures on Psychology_, p. 283.) I think it more probable
  that the “sour” look is the survival expression of such an emotion as
  disappointment. It is likely that the genesis of disappointment was in
  tasting the sour for the supposedly sweet, _e.g._, lemon for orange,
  and the “sour” look has remained as expression of disappointment long
  since its utility ceased. The genesis and early growth of most
  emotions is in connection with certain sense experiences and their
  related actions, and these actions tend to remain as “expressions”
  long after their real quality as actions has disappeared. Hence it is
  by survival, and not because he thinks himself tasting something sour,
  that a man looks “soured” by disappointment when I fail to give him
  money as promised. So also black is gloomy because we are diurnal, and
  our ancestors were diurnal. If nocturnal, black would seem joyous,
  white gloomy. (Cf. Wundt, _ibid._, p. 375.)


Expression is then primarily all action connected with all
consciousness, secondarily, it is useless action continued by force of
habit and transmitted to descendants. But still many expressions are
more than mere actions or their survivals. To be sure, Darwin and many
Darwinists maintain that the expressions do not arise or exist for their
own value as such, but they are entirely incidental. Expression is not
the function of the so-called expressions, but they are entirely
functional survivals. While, however, we must admit that many
expressions have arisen and been preserved in this manner, yet I think
it is altogether hasty to deny the function and value of expression _per
se_. Expression has existed as a function from very early phases of
life, and it underlies all bisexuality and sociality which have been
such important elements in evolution. Organic sound-producing
structures, whose sole utility from the very first is for attracting
attention, early appear, and further voice seems to have its origin in
the demand for love-call and call to young. Gregariousness is made
possible in almost all its forms by purposive expression. There comes
early, then, a will, not merely in performing some definite act at
prompting of a feeling, but also a use in simply expressing it to
others, communicating the fact of having pain or pleasure states to
others. The cry of pain in young animals is a cry for help, and as such
has been favoured in the struggle for existence. The usefulness of this
action is solely as expression, and as expression it has arisen and been
developed. Expression here is not an incidental view of a physiological
action, but exists for its own value to the individual. Such expressions
have their use in their significance, and as the true language of
feeling are to be interpreted by the principle of serviceability. An
expression which is and continues, by reason of its utility, as a
sign-language, visual, auditory, or otherwise, as gesture love-calls,
etc., may be termed pure expression as distinguished from incidental
expression, like blushing, pallor, etc., which exist, not for their
significance, though they are significant. Incidental expression
includes also the sphere of degraded action. Yet what seems mere
degraded action may be true expression, as beckoning, which is an
abridgement of the action of pulling one to oneself and of movement
towards oneself; but this motion of the hands exists, not for this end,
nor as survival, but merely as significant of a desire on the part of
the gesturer. In the higher ranges of life we well know the large place
played by pure expression as distinguished from incidental expression.
It is not necessary to suppose that pure expression consists merely in
“voluntary and consciously” employing “means of communication” (Darwin,
_Expression of the Emotions_, p. 256); thus, the scream of an infant is
equally pure expression, whether the infant employs it knowingly or not
as such, for screaming of the young has doubtless arisen and been
preserved in natural selection because of its utility as significant.
There is then, I think, a group of activities which are not merely
incidentally expressive, but originate and exist for expression as a
useful thing in the battle of life.

But we have not exhausted the principles of expression when we refer to
present or past serviceability as an action in general or to service as
expression. It is plain that in any activity prompted by any feeling
there comes at a certain high intensity a more or less pathologic
over-functioning of the organs concerned, with under-functioning of
others. Emotion as action stimulator in any high degree always enhances
some physiologic function to the depression of others. The blood, for
instance, is forcibly withdrawn from various parts to certain specially
active parts, and this withdrawal gives rise to an appearance which may
be termed a negative expression, as the pallor in fear. Certain other
phenomena connected with fear, as change of colour in the hair, cold
sweat, and trembling of the muscles, which are mentioned by Darwin as
unexplained, are probably due to this negative principle (_Expression of
the Emotions in Man and Animals_, New York, 1886, p. 350; but compare
pp. 81 and 308, where these disturbances are ascribed to direct action
of the nervous system. Darwin does not, however, distinctly state or
treat the principle we here mention as a distinct law). As the body is
an inter-related system of organs, stimulation to one organ means an
effect upon all, excitation of some, depression of others; thus to an
acute observer the whole body is symptomatic of every feeling, and,
indeed, of every consciousness. In the natural and normal course
emotion, to do its work most effectively, implies little or no marked
negative expression, but the nervous energy generated flows freely and
directly to the organs which are to do service, without greatly
impairing general function. Fear thus acts at first simply and
advantageously; but in its later history fear becomes greatly
complicated, and instead of freely issuing in serviceable action with
not excessive heightening or depressing of any function, its outlet
seems as it were choked, and the nervous energy spends itself within the
body in violent disturbances of vital organs. Fear becomes then decadent
and loses its place as evolutionary factor, becoming impediment rather
than aid to progress. Negative expression must then be considered as
especially notable in the later exhibitions of an emotion when
concentration becomes morbid and ineffective, losing its
advantageousness, and the emotion is being supplanted by other psychic
factors. Great injury and death itself may result from the abnormal
action of fear and other primarily useful psychoses.

Besides the particular organs to serviceable activity with the
subsidiary physiological functioning, and the indirect depression, we
must still note other principles which may control expression. Nervous
energy under the incitement of emotion is often in excess of the demand
for the required action, and it will then overflow into correlated
activities along the line of least resistance. Also when the suitable
action is checked for any reason, its motive force backs up and
overflows in new channels. Indefinite and purposeless movements of
various kinds thus result which may be expressive of the emotion of
which they are incidentally the result. Any one who has watched an Irish
setter tracing game must have remarked the wavings of the tail becoming
more rapid when the scent becomes stronger. When the dog is running very
fast, the tail-waggings are less noticeable than when moving slowly,
although the interest may seemingly be the same in both cases. It is
obvious that a fast run uses to a large extent the superfluous energy
which was discharging in tail movements, and when the useful running is
checked the tail motion recommences with greater force, serving as a
safety-valve. The frisking of young animals and children is also largely
due to diffusion of so-called superfluous nerve-force, and is expressive
of general sensations of pleasure. All feeling is motor in its natural
value and tendency, and unless the resulting energy is fully used in
some special serviceable action, it will discharge itself along the
easiest and most habitual lines laid down by inheritance. Thus the
peculiar ancestral experience of animals is always expressed by their
spontaneous diffusive activities. It will be remarked that the principle
of diffusion is the reverse of negative expression, being an overflow of
force as opposed to withdrawal. Excessive generation of energy is
certainly uneconomical, and we must consider that at first emotion
tended rather to less than the required amount, than more.

The phenomena of diffusive expression, in the strict sense, are thus
rather late in appearance. The very lowest forms of life have no infancy
or play period, and from the first are directly active in the struggle
for existence. Yet the play period was certainly evolved through natural
selection as a fully educative and preparatory stage, wherein the
actions most demanded in actual life are unconsciously practised and a
general basis of reserve force is accumulated. Play activity is a living
on inherited energy and in the inherited modes: the kitten pouncing, the
horse prancing, etc. Play is then rather a mode of activity than a mode
of expression; it is expressive only in the way that all action is
expressive. Expression proper is only in those modes of action which are
carried on, whether consciously or unconsciously, by virtue of their
significance value. If everything which is expressive is called an
expression, we must include all the bodily actions and phenomena which
can in any wise be connected with consciousness. I use the term
diffusion in the narrow sense of spontaneous overflow of energy in
excess of that absolutely required for the advantageous action. I do not
refer to the general diffusion of emotional effect throughout the whole
organism, which always occurs by the very nature of organism. Thus the
pain from a pin-prick certainly modifies to some extent every cell in
the body; there is a direct wave of influence from the psychic
experience, and this is propagated throughout the whole organism by
reason of its essential interdependency of parts; it echoes and
re-echoes throughout the whole. The physiological result is then in
simplest cases extremely complicated. However, this mere general fact of
diffusion is a biological truism, and does not explain any expression,
but simply asserts that every feeling, by virtue of its physical basis,
affects the organism as a whole. Emotion issues specially in motor
activities because its origin was as stimulant to necessary action, but
this action involved internal organs, especially the circulatory and
respiratory, and indirectly the whole body in every part. The
explanation of an expression must always be in tracing back to the
original serviceable actions with their demands on special subsidiary
organs, and their depression of certain related organs, and not in
reference to the general law of diffusion, which is but another term for
the essential continuity of the organism. A useful principle of
expression must not merely say that there is by the nature of organism a
general bodily result from every emotion, but it must explain the
particular expressions.

We make them so far four principles or forms of expression, which we
instance in saying that the blow of an angry man is general activity
expression, shaking the fist at one, purposive expression, scowling as
remnant of watching foe intently in the open air is survival expression,
and twitching and trembling of certain muscles is diffusive expression.
Every emotion commonly issues in all four forms, in direct activity with
associated survival tendencies and purposive expression, and a surplus
of energy runs over into certain natural and easy motions, or a
deficiency of energy in certain organs manifests itself, the negative
side of diffusive expression.[G]


Footnote G:

  Since emotion comes in waves, expression is reduplicated. This may
  throw some light on such an expression as laughter. Landor says the
  Ainu do not in the proper sense laugh, but they roar with delight. It
  may be that laughter is reiterated roar as resulting from reiterated
  psychic impulses and feelings. As in the growth of an emotion, waves
  are multiplied, the expression becomes more reduplicate, and thus
  laughter tends to become more rippling and articulate. The
  cachinnation and explosiveness has thus a plausible explanation, which
  I merely suggest. At least Prof. Dewey’s explanation (_Psychological
  Review_, I., 559) that “both crying and laughing fall under the same
  principle of action—the termination of a period of effort”—is quite
  too general. Tension ceasing, effort stopped, we “breathe freely,”
  take deep inspirations. Laughter is far from being the usual outcome
  of such a _status_.


Darwin makes antithesis a principle of expression. Thus the expression
of affection in the dog or cat toward its master cannot, says Darwin, be
traced in any wise to serviceability, and we must seek its explanation
merely as unconsciously and instinctively assumed as directly contrary
to the serviceable hostile expressions. A dog’s expression of anger is,
or has been, directly serviceable action, but the expressions of
affectionate pleasure seem never to have had such an origin, but to have
arisen merely as antithetic to the former, and so establishing the
utmost distinctness of impression. To convey most clearly a motion of
its friendliness the dog naturally assumes those attitudes which are
most diverse from its expression of hostility. Their serviceability as
expressions is best attained by being completely antithetical, and the
more antithetical the better under natural selection. However, if this
be the case, antithesis scarcely deserves, it seems to me, the name of a
principle of expression, but it merely denominates the fact that
opposite emotions in the struggle for existence tend to exhibit
themselves in opposite ways as similar emotions in similar ways; but we
need neither antithesis nor similarity as a principle. I believe that
serviceability past or present either as direct action or as expression
is the prime _impetus_ of what we term the expression of the emotions,
and I confess I do not see much force in Darwin’s Chapter on Antithesis.
If, however, opposition has a meaning for life, as Darwin seems to
imply, then does not the expression come under the law of
serviceability? If there is any opposition in expression, I should
explain this in general by utility rather than by antithesis _per se_.
Thus take the gestures instanced by Darwin (_ibid._, p. 65), of pushing
away with the hand when telling one to go away, and of pulling toward
when telling one to come; these gestures are, indeed, antithetic, but
their explanation does not lie in the fact of the antithesis, but in the
fact of the past serviceable habit, by which individuals disliked or
liked were repelled or attracted. In the present instance the person
motioned to may be far beyond the reach of the arms, but still the
gesture may be more than mere useless survival, for it acts as emphasis
of the vocal expression, and has its influence there.

Darwin for some reason constantly ignores the serviceability of
expression as such—not so much as a fact, but as a principle—and hence
its relation to natural selection, whereby he involves himself in
needless difficulties. If an expression is of use, why should it not
arise through natural selection as well as a limb, a wing, or an eye?
Like other functions, expression may be incidental or may adapt
variations attained originally for other ends, but in the case of the
voice, at least, we have an original organ of expression as instrument
of intercommunication.

Nor can I think Darwin’s treatment of the expressions of affection by
the dog as due to antithesis a very happy or satisfactory solution. In
the first place, the expression of friendliness by the dog is not the
complete antithesis of that of hostility. The dog barks both out of
friendly joy and from anger, as Darwin himself states. Some dogs also,
as I have often observed in my dog, show pleasurable affection by
wrinkling up the lips and showing the teeth, an act which is often
mistaken for a hostile demonstration. Dogs also, as is the habit with my
own, will often express affection in the same way as the cat (_ibid._,
fig. 10), by rubbing against one. This is but an instance of a general
law of expression of affectionate emotion, _i.e._, closeness of contact
with the beloved object which is liked as promoting pleasure. This
instinctive expression of love or liking certainly had its origin in
serviceability, the appropriate effort toward the pleasure-giving thing
or animal, but specially in the relation of parent and offspring, and in
that of alliance in danger. Again, the tail of a hostile dog is, as
figured by Darwin, straight and erect, but the opposite of this is the
tail tucked between the legs when fleeing from pursuers in fear, rather
than the position when showing friendliness to its master. My own
opinion of the rise of the friendly expression of dog, cat, and other
animals toward man is that they are in the main, at least, transferred
from the serviceable friendly expressions used among themselves in a
wild or domesticated state. I have repeatedly seen small dogs, who
attach themselves to some large dog as their master, fawn, posture, and
lick this master precisely as this master does his human master. Dogs
and cats also show their affection and care for their offspring in many
expressive acts which are transferred to their human owners. These
expressions were primarily either directly serviceable actions, as the
licking, or serviceable for expression as such, as various sounds made
to give assurance of presence of food, or of safety. In general, it
seems to me that when antithesis has occurred, it has arisen out of
serviceability and not _vice versâ_.

With reference to the wagging of the tail in the dog, this is far from
being an expression of affection alone. I have already mentioned the
case of the setter where the movement of the tail is largely due to
diffusion of superfluous energy, analogous to nervous habits like pacing
the floor or biting the nails in human beings. With some dogs at least,
as I have noticed in my own St. Bernard, the tail is switched slowly
back and forth when approaching another dog with hostile intent. We have
not as yet a sufficient number of facts at hand with reference to the
history of the dog to pronounce the tail wagging as originating by
virtue of its use as expression. And what is the _rationale_ of the
origin of the tail in the dog and cat, and for what reason has it been
perpetuated? Is it a prehensile survival—which has been taken advantage
of in the breeding of the pug—or is it a sexual characteristic, or did
it originate to perform some directly advantageous action, as the tail
of the cow and horse, or did it come into being as an organ of
expression? Is the tail-wagging recognised by animals themselves as an
expression as it is by man? These are questions on which we must have
more data than we now possess in order to make any sufficient answers.

Again, the rise of the barking by dogs under domestication is another
problem on which little can be said with certainty for lack of data.
Darwin’s remark that it may arise by imitation of the loquacity of man
seems to me ludicrously inadequate, and there seems no element of
imitation in the noise produced. Domesticated animals in general tend to
use the vocal organs for louder sounds than when in the wild state, for
with wild animals the value of a loud noise as expression in any way is
largely counterbalanced by its betraying presence to enemies. When
natural enemies of the dog are driven out by man there will be a
tendency toward a larger use of the vocal organs, both with reference to
companion dogs and also to man. The particular sound, the bark, is
determined by the nature of the whole vocal apparatus. The bark was, no
doubt, originally to frighten aggressors, as I have often seen a large
dog frighten a small dog from a piece of meat by a sudden resounding
bark. Gradually attained as a mode of terrifying his competitive
associates and certain game which it follows under domestication, and so
preserved and developed by natural selection, the tendency is also
powerfully strengthened by artificial selection, the best barker, other
things being equal, being chosen for breeding by man. When the bark has
become a common and habitual practice, it becomes a vent for superfluous
energy developed by joy and other emotions. Like snarling or grinning,
it is also a play form, and thus becomes denotative of joy by
association. To impress one’s friendliness or hostility upon others, to
appease or terrify, are the two main ends of expression with both man
and animals, and this function is excited in various ways by different
species, as determined by environment. The danger signal and the safety
signal, the beware or welcome, is amplified and varied according to
particular requirements which must be fully investigated before we can
give any complete _rationale_ of any expression. Conciliatory and
menacing expressions and gestures have been evolved and matured in
strict correlation under the same general law of natural selection, and
neither one nor the other is due to antithesis. It is entirely unlikely
that of such expressions, one, the hostility side, was first developed
by natural selection, the other owing its rise to a distinct principle,

However, I am not ready to deny antithesis all force as principle of
expression, but it seems to me it should be ranged with law of
similarity or analogy as subsidiary, and largely influential only in the
higher types of expression, especially the teleologic human, as in
gesture. Thus, if thumbs up means pity, thumbs down would naturally be
used to denote pitilessness. To nod the head means assent or yes, to
shake the head means dissent or no, though the exact antithesis would be
to throw the head backward—assent signal with some tribes. However,
while it may be asserted that, as a general law, that like emotions
express themselves in like ways, unlike in unlike, this can hardly be
used to throw much light on expression. Given a particular emotion and
its expression, we can by no means deduce immediately the expression of
the opposition emotion. Particular conditions and special organic
limitations will always make this impracticable, and it is the office of
the scientist to study expression in the course of evolution as of
service under a multitude of conflicting interests and distracting

We view expression then as mainly due to the principle of advantageous
variation in the struggle for existence. Expression is the action
required in the battle for life, or accompaniments to assist this
action, or the call for aid to bring it about. Natural selection is the
first and fundamental law of expression, negative expression and
superfluous energy both being secondary and often pathologic in

The struggle for existence is itself on the very face of it an
expression of mind, namely, activity significant of certain will and
feeling experience. Whatever shows mind is expression, and thus in a
large sense every movement in the physical universe—and what is the
universe but motion—and every organic activity may be construed as
expression. Whether all force, motion, action, is or must be expression
is, however, a philosophic investigation which we need not now discuss,
though we may suspect that the height and depth of mind and so the range
of expression is enormously beyond the science of to-day. However,
restricting ourselves to the domain of animal life, it is obviously very
difficult to determine just what activities of a given organism betray
mind, and still more just what form of mentality is manifesting itself.
Man, being the measure of all things, interprets himself in all, and
even when he becomes aware of the dangers of anthropomorphism he cannot
wholly disengage himself from the tendency. The subjective analogical
interpretation is a necessary evil. Still man is the keenest sighted of
all beings for expression, and actions in a very wide range which had
not in fact the real function of expression become expressive to him.
The primary value of fear for the deer is to make it run from danger,
and the running becomes expressive of the fear to observers, though the
running is not for the expression. Thus vital activities of many kinds
are expressive, though their primary value is not in the expression.
Activities whose sole or main value is to give expression are
comparatively late, the value of expression in this narrow sense being
in the mental impression thereby made upon other organisms. Thus actions
which serve purely to frighten others, in making one’s self formidable
by loud noises, as roar of lion, bark of dog, by erecting the hair,
displaying claws, teeth, and other such actions are pure expressions.

There is a constant growth in the value of expressiveness as we ascend
the scale of life, expression playing a larger and larger part till with
man certain individuals become specialized as expressionists, artists,
poets, and orators. Further, fine art is expression which has its value,
not in any exterior utility, but in itself alone, the subjective emotion
seeking in a manner perfectly free from the common utilities of life to
find itself a complete and perfect embodiment. Art here does not serve
life, but life, art. The experience has in itself its own vindication
for being, in that it expresses. Expression is no longer bare action nor
yet a function to serve life, but it becomes a life in itself. In this
ideal life of pure expression we recognise the necessity that the
expressionist be emancipated from the struggle for existence, be freed
from the sordid cares of life, and given up wholly to expressing his
individuality with characteristic force; hence the State often pensions
writers and artists. But apart from this ideal life, in the evolution of
intricate sociality and industry and complex culture, expression becomes
a more and more potent factor. Man in society must not only be, he must
reveal himself, he must show what he is in order to achieve the most.
Many fail, not for lack of faculty, but for lack of expressive ability.
Expression, then, in general, is a function which, starting from the
most minute beginnings in the lower animals, culminates in man. In large
part man is man by reason of his superior power of expression,
especially by speech, oral and written. Evolution in man is on the
mental side in particular, but a large part of this mentality has been
given to the improvement of expression in making it more facile, full
and rapid. The complete natural history of expression is yet to be
written, and all that I attempt is to indicate the point of view for
such an investigation.

There are two points further with reference to expression which merit a
few remarks. The first is as to the reaction of expression on emotion.
We have treated to some extent the relation of emotion to its
expression, but we have also to consider the relation of an expression
to its emotion and to emotion in general. We have all along assumed that
the emotion as a factor in the evolution of life is an internal stimulus
to a serviceable activity, which may be viewed as its expression, or may
even have its value as such. That emotion, as stimulus of action,
determines expression is, I think, a primary law. However, Prof. James
maintains (_Mind_, xxxiv., 188) the reverse—that expression determines
the emotion.[H] We do not strike because we are angry, but we are angry
because we strike. Hence, in reality, the emotion is really the
expression, that is, the emotion is the consciousness result of the
so-called expression—it expresses the “expression” in terms of
consciousness. We commonly speak of expressing our emotions, but we
should rather speak of emotions as expressions in consciousness of
certain bodily activities. But if we make emotion but a psychological
incident and off-shoot of certain activities, I take it we run directly
counter to the general function of mind in evolution as internal
stimulant to useful activity. Emotion is, I judge, fundamentally a
motive force and has its function, and so its rise and development as
such. It is more than a by-product, but even if it were, how should we
account for it? After the serviceable activity has actually been brought
about, after a man has really struck down his adversary, what is the
utility of emotion? We take it that the value of emotion lies in
starting and supporting the activity, and it is advantageous economy
that it cease immediately on the accomplishment of its end. While we
must always suppose that emotion has its physical support in central
neutral changes, yet the expression is truly such; that is, it is from a
different impulse as determined by the emotional brain excitement. In
the light merely of a theory of natural selection, mind in general, and
emotion in particular, is more than incidental concomitant of physical
changes, more than echo of corporeality: it has a vital and central
function in the evolution of life. Prof. James points to the fact that
exercising the expressions or imagining the feeling calls up the
feeling, as a proof of his theory. This, however, is merely a matter of
association, and can prove neither a real precedent nor resultant. We
may call up ideation as well as emotion by producing associated
activities. In the interdependence of the conscious life, emotion,
perception and willing call up each other without reference to causative
order. Any one element of consciousness may be regarded either as
resultant or stimulant, according as we look at preceding or following
state of consciousness. In the order of evolution, pain and pleasure
arise from certain actions in order to inhibit or stimulate repetition
of actions. Feeling is then, both resultant and stimulant. The emotions
may arise from the expressions by association, but the original
dependence is that of expression on emotion. The further test, that we
cannot imagine an emotion without bringing in bodily presentation, is
simply a necessity of the imaging faculty as such, an image by its very
nature being concrete.


Footnote H:

  Professor James has of late largely modified his view (see
  _Psychological Review_, Sept., 1894).


While, then, I believe that emotion is the spring of expression, I am
far from denying that the expression may not react upon the emotion.
Whenever the will in any wise controls expression we mark modifications
in the feeling. In the later evolution of life the directing of
expression is of great importance, and expression is gradually subjected
to the will. Hence, especially with man, it becomes possible to feel in
certain ways and yet to repress the signs of feeling, to have strong
emotions, and yet not betray them to those who might take advantage of
them. When a strong emotion is forcibly and completely checked in its
expression there is commonly rankling. At least it is not true, as
Darwin states (_Ibid._, p. 360), that “repression, as far as this is
possible, of all outward signs softens our emotions.” Very often, as we
all know by personal experience and by observation, the checking the
free expression of emotion tends to intensify, rather than soften, the
emotion. The school-girl, who, on hearing sad news, rushes away to have
a good cry, weeps away her grief, and experiences a deep sense of
relief; while the man who sternly represses the expression of grief
often suffers acutely and long. Grief, of course, sometimes lies too
deep for tears, and we often long to be able to express the pent-up
emotion which chokes us. This state is the opposite of the free, natural
expression of feeling such as we see in children. Children express
themselves without self-control, for this is beyond them; but here is
the power to will expression, but the effort is always futile.

By promoting or repressing expression we do certainly influence emotion;
but this volition is always for reason, and implies, then, a conflict of
feelings. Thus, a feeling for propriety leads the man to control his
tears, and this feeling in itself must tend to diminish the strength of
the concomitant grief. However, though there is a measure of
interference, we would be wrong in supposing that complex mental life is
always comparatively weak in its component elements. The distraction of
interest due to new feelings checking expression is not always equal to
the relieving power of free or promoted expression. The direct checking
of the expressional act certainly keeps back the current of energy from
its natural channel, and the feeling has increased in duration, if not
in quantity. The evanescent character of emotion with young children and
with demonstrative people is well known.

But besides the changes which may come to the feeling through direct
will-effected changes in the expression, we must also note that the mere
consciousness of expression has often a definite influence. Thus, when
greatly frightened, I may become conscious of the heart leaping into the
throat, the trembling, etc.; and this consciousness of the expression
acts in general as a diversion in the feeling which is expressed.
Sometimes, indeed, it seems to add to the feeling, as when a girl
blushes for her blushes. There is an intensification of
self-consciousness which but heightens and renews the expression with
renewed sense of expression, and then another flood of embarrassing
self-consciousness, and so on in a long series. Here, however, the sense
of expression does not in strictness add to the intensity of the
original feeling, but it develops a new feeling of the same kind; at
each step there is new occasion and a renewed feeling, but a total
quantity is constituted, so that we are right enough in saying that the
consciousness of her own blushing but added to her embarrassment. Yet it
may be stated as a general law that a consciousness of our expressive
acts as such tends to decrease the original feeling from which the
expression arises, inasmuch as the field of consciousness is thereby

When the will attains control over expression we may not merely repress
the impulse to expression when we feel strongly, but having no feeling
of a given kind we may voluntarily adopt its expression, and this
adoption of the expression very often leads by association to the real
feeling. Again, when experiencing a feeling we may simulate the
expression of another or even opposite feeling. It is often advantageous
in the struggle for existence to throw others off their guard by
deceiving them as to the real emotional state; hence, craft and guile
have from a tolerably early stage in evolution played a part in the
history of life. Animals and men alike soon appreciate the distinction
between appearance and reality, that a kind and pleasant expression is
often but the lure of malice and hostility, that injury is often meant
where there is the show of benefit. Plants, as well as animals, often
are quite other than they appear, both for offence and defence; and
there is the wide field of mimetic protection which cannot, however, at
present be brought under our subject.

Simulation of expression probably arose as an economical makeshift; a
mere show which costs the organism little often attains ends which would
otherwise require a vast deal of mental force. Thus we see children
scared into desired behaviour by assumed anger, grief, etc.; and even
animals, as I have noticed with dogs, likewise frequently affect
expressions which have no support in real emotion. The unsophisticated,
however, learn with great rapidity to distinguish between assumed and
real emotion. Any one who has made a pretence of crying before little
children must have remarked this. Simulation of expression in order to
easily reach desired ends is thus rather limited, but still has a real
value and a considerable place under natural selection.

However, expression may sometimes be simulated in order to attain the
associated emotion. If we act mad, we often get mad, and thus, as we see
in the plays of animals and children, merely assumed expression may lead
to the real emotion. This way of attaining emotion by purposely enacting
its known expression, we may call impression as the reverse of the
expression order. Men may work themselves up into a fury, as well as
vigorously express an anger directly occasioned. Actors and public
speakers often take advantage of this reaction of expression on emotion,
and thereby not merely affect an emotion, but have a certain real
emotion, which cannot ever be naïve. Thus Macready as Shylock used to
prepare himself and get up “the proper state of white heat” by violently
shaking a ladder. Poe in one of his tales makes a detective say, when
wishing to know the thoughts of a wicked man, “I fashion the expression
of my face as accurately as possible in accordance with the expression
of his, and then wait to see what thoughts or sentiments arise in my
mind or heart, as if to match or correspond with the expression.” This
method of acting like another, that we may have and so know his thoughts
and feelings, is a very difficult way of mind-reading.

But expression is often simulated on one or both sides with full
understanding of it as such. This enters into play, and is the essence
of the dramatic art. That the word _play_ denotes both the sportive
imitative actions of animals and men, and also a dramatic representation
is not fortuitous or arbitrary. It is noticeable that among the lower
animals the earliest and commonest play is playing at being angry or
frightened, which corroborates the view of these emotions as probably
the earliest and most fundamental in life. The correlated nature of fear
and anger is shown by the way they are played at; thus you often see one
dog with a show of anger chasing another who simulates fear, and then
the parts are exchanged.

The great relation of pursuer and pursued is constantly mimicked among
animals with interchanging of parts. So also among children the
commonest plays are those of fleeing and chasing, as tag, hare and
hound, hide and seek, etc., the fundamental elements of life being
re-enacted under the superfluous energy which tends to flow most easily
into the oldest and most habitual channels. Thus play has a high
historic psychic importance. To attack and to run away are the most
necessary and essential of life activities, and play has a certain
pedagogic and preparative value, and has thereby been sanctioned by
natural selection, for we see that in the evolution of life the tendency
has constantly been to lengthen the play period. Among the lowest
animals the individual at birth is immediately thrown into the struggle
for existence and must battle for itself; there is no play time for it,
but at once it enters upon direct life struggle; but in higher life
there is a period of spontaneous free dramatic activity.

But not only is anger and fear shammed as a prominent and primitive
play, but it is most common to stimulate to real anger or fear, and then
in glee to show the inadequacy of the occasion to the victim. Every one
has observed how frequently young animals play by teasing and scaring
each other. The tricks of boys and practical jokes of men both point to
the deep inbred power of anger and fear in life, and are at the same
time symptomatic of their decline in power as dominant life factors. All
children delight in scaring one another on pretence, in seeing the real
expression and feeling themselves the moving powers in bringing it
about. This satisfaction, which is aboriginal, which is the reflex of
the original pleasure sanction when power to scare others for one’s own
benefit was being evolved in life, makes a large part of the enjoyment
of such action. A large part of play-pleasure must, indeed, be set down
to reflex of the earliest hard-earned pleasure experience; but a large
part is also due to the thrill of excitement and the delight in activity
_per se_. Later forms of plays are largely due to pure imitative
propensity, though often helped by reversal tendencies.

We note also that this perceived groundlessness of the action becomes a
large element in later forms of play, as wit and humour, but the
pleasure is plainly based on the power and the superiority of
intelligence implied. It amuses the tyrant to throw his companions into
mortal fear by the slightest suggestion, the smaller the occasion the
more amusing the fright. And in general the slighter the real cause in
relation to the effect produced, the more acute the pleasure, by reason
of the supremacy thereby emphasized. It is always more amusing to scare
a child by a slight movement of a finger than by a vigorous act of the
whole body. It seems to me that it is by this association that
disproportion, incongruity, irrelevance, however induced, become in
themselves amusing, ludicrous, laughable. So the incongruous, in which I
have no part whatever, becomes a comic spectacle and the basis of all
comedy, yet also of the tragic and tragedy. In the tragic the
discordance between what is and what ought to be, instead of pleasing,
pains. What is comic to a coarse mind may seem tragic to the refined. A
bird, distressed by the death of its mate, offering it food, might amuse
a savage or a boy, but must be a pathetic sight to a civilized and
cultured man, though both might be amused to see a child presenting food
to its doll.

Not only may the incongruous which is comparatively unrelated to me be
amusing as well as that which I myself bring about, but even when I am
the victim I may be highly delighted by the intrinsic disproportion of
my experience to the exciting cause. With some persons, perhaps rather
few in number, the next best thing to playing a joke is having one
played on them. This amusement at oneself occurs even among savages.
When Stanley was on the Congo, he was at one time greatly annoyed by the
number of native visitors. In vain he tried to repel them, but one
morning when a crowd had assembled at the river side, at some little
distance, waiting an opportunity to board his vessel, some of his men
put on lion skins which were at hand, and acted the part so well that
the intending visitors fled in abject terror. Having retired to a safe
distance they looked back to see the men walking the deck with the lion
skins in their hands and laughing most heartily. Seeing then the
groundlessness of their alarm the whole crowd burst into roars of
laughter and shouted in merriment for a long time. Exhibitions of
fright, we may remark, seem to be especially amusing to savages, as when
an assembly of Africans of the lowest type went into ecstasies of
uproarious delight on seeing a stereopticon picture of a frightened
negro hastily climbing a tree to get out of the way of the gaping jaws
of a crocodile.

Play is then very largely either a mutual shamming of expression, or a
stimulating real expression in one by pretended expression in the other.
The pleasure in deceiving others by simulating expression points to
ancestral experience, for deceit has been one of the greatest factors in
life evolution. That an individual seems to be an entirely different
being from what he really is, has often been most advantageous in the
struggle for existence, and hence a large variety of simulated
expression has been employed. Children then, as repeating in play form
the race history, take great delight in masquerading and so deceiving
their acquaintances as to their identity, making false pleas for
charity, etc. The drama has its roots in this form of play. To make
others take us for quite different than we are gives us a high pleasure
of power, and early man was often moved, in the breathing spells of the
struggle for existence, to play at false personalities simply for the
pleasure in itself of being a successful actor. There is also the
counter pleasure of the spectators in piercing the simulated expression.
It is only in latest phases of dramatic art that simulation comes to be
appreciated for its own sake, that there is on both sides full and
complete feeling of the illusory nature of the whole transaction, and an
enjoyment of the art _per se_. Simulating expression is the actor’s art;
but when the simulation is forgotten by either actor or audience, nature
appears and art disappears.

While it is the province of the actor’s art to simulate expression, it
is in general the office of fine art to imitate and render the
expressive by image, picture, musical notes, etc. The artist is the
expresser and simulator _par excellence_, and complete and perfect
expressiveness is his constant aim, though not for utility or amusement,
but for the sake of awakening the æsthetic emotion. I cannot then agree
with Bosanquet, who, as I understand, makes æsthetic feeling the emotion
of expression, expression for expression’s sake. For expression by its
very nature is such only as _expressive_, that is, as going beyond
itself, as being a means, and not an end in itself, hence expression for
expression’s sake is meaningless phrase. Expression, so far as it
attempts to stand merely for itself, is an empty mannerism and a barren
technique. Expression is only such as it is backed by the emotion
expressed, as significant of some psychosis; and artistic expression or
art is the expression of the artistic or æsthetic emotion, a peculiar
feeling about things, as apple blossoms, a sunset, a child playing. This
emotion is often awakened by cognizance of an expression, as an
expression of joy or horror by a child, and may thus be an emotion of or
at expression, as also in the case where it is roused by the skill in
purposive expression of any kind, æsthetic or other, but expression is
obviously not the only way of exciting the emotion, its object may be a
mere patch of colour, a pure musical note, etc. Æsthetic emotion tends
to manifest or express itself just like all emotions, and in attaining
perfect expression it strengthens itself. Likewise language, as an
instrument of thought, a logical expression, has strengthened thought,
but a purely formal logic is as barren and void as a purely formal
æsthetic. Language as expressive of thought and as expressive of
æsthetic emotion is equally dependent upon what it expresses, and
æsthetics is thus not peculiar in its relation to expression.

The interpretation of expression in nature and art is often a hard
matter and has given rise to much variance. For instance, take the much
discussed Laokoön group; Winckelmann says the father sheds pity from his
eyes like mist upon his sons; Lessing finds grief and noble endurance
expressed; Goethe thinks the father shows pity for his youngest son,
apprehension for the older son, and terror for himself; Lübke finds only
mere pain manifested. Coming to a single feature, the mouth, we find the
most diverse interpretation. Winckelmann says that here is an heroic
soul who disdains to shriek, and gives forth only “an anxious and
suppressed sigh.” Lessing maintains also that here is a shriek softened
into a sigh, but not “because a shriek would have betrayed an ignoble
soul, but because it would have produced a hideous contortion of the
countenance.” Later critics have generally followed Lessing. It is
obvious, I think, that the expression of the mouth is not shrieking, but
is moaning, groaning, or sighing. On this quite a number of competent
witnesses, physicians and psychologists whom I consulted, are
practically agreed. However, it has occurred to me that the sighing or
moaning of Laokoön may not be a softened form at all, but the actual
expression designed by the artists. It is generally supposed that the
artist here desired to show mortal agony, and it is assumed that
shrieking is the expression of mortal agony. This assumption seems to me
correct when extreme pain is suddenly inflicted; but when, as in the
case of Laokoön, the mortal wound is received only after the most
exhausting struggle, the natural expression is moaning. The realistic
sculptor would surely not give any softened form, but, shrinking from
nothing, has expressed Laokoön in this death grasp in the very act of
giving up the ghost. Though the muscles of the limbs and trunk are still
tense, yet the closing eyes, the head falling back, and the arm thrown
toward the base of the brain indicate that the struggle is over, and the
death moment has come, expressed vocally only by a moan. We do not need
to find here then any conflict between realism and the artistic sense,
but the simplest and most obvious interpretation is what the expression
gives, sighing and moaning, which is the true one under the
circumstances, and is so meant by the artist.

                              CHAPTER XXI

In the present haste to construct psychology as a natural science
cognate to chemistry, physics, and biology, we note much that is
premature and confusing, owing to insufficient reflection upon the
quality of the phenomena. A consciousness is a natural phenomenon, but
we cannot discover and investigate it as we do phenomena of light and
electricity. Anger is a phenomenon occurring millions of times every
day, but it is a fact which must be discerned and studied by an
altogether different method from facts of crystallization, erosion, or
plant growth. Psychology is not a science of inspection, but of
introspection. If I know I am angry, I know it by a direct
self-awareness; if I see a man strike another, and regard this as
expressive of a psychosis, and that of a certain kind, anger, this
supposed knowledge is analogical realization. One who never was or could
be angry could no more investigate anger than a blind man light, and,
other things being equal, the more irascible a man is, the better
observer of anger he would be. We are not, however, conscious of all our
mental processes, and we may be often blinded to the real nature of such
we think we have; and as to the psychoses of other beings, especially of
the more unlike and remote, we need to be extremely cautious in forming
conclusions. It is likely that the mental constitution of organisms
differ as widely as the physical, that the mentality of a fish is as
diverse from our own as its physical structure is unlike our own. The
fish may have peculiar psychoses of which we may never gain the least
inkling, because we cannot examine its consciousness objectively as we
do its fins, its air bladder, and its gills. The psychologist must then
be myriad-minded; his fitness is the ductility and range of his psychic
capacity. The richness and receptivity of his own mental life must be
infinite if he is to come to full knowledge of the whole course of
psychism. Thus psychology is marked off from all other science as
distinct in subject and method. Its being so individual and subjective
is the greatest hindrance to its progress, for science is verifiable
knowledge, but how shall we have a method of consciousness verification?
A man tells me he has a scar on his left knee, and this I can verify by
personal examination if I like, but if he says he is angry, I have no
such means of verification, I can only guess by expression. A biologist
announces the discovery of a pineal eye in a certain embryo, and
straightway the fact may be verified by a host of observers; but if a
psychologist announces that he has discovered a new mode of
consciousness, the verification is by no means so easy. May not the
consciousness be entirely peculiar to him? The psychologist who attempts
to verify cannot disclaim the fact simply because he cannot find this
act of mind in himself. But an introspective _consensus_, though
extremely difficult as compared with the objective _consensus_ required
by objective science, is not impossible, but it requires exceptional
gifts and training in introspection. Before psychology can reach any
standing a method of subjective verification must be formulated and
adhered to as rigidly as corresponding verification is required by
objective science. The backwardness of psychology is in this most
significant, that while a half-dozen recognised biologists may announce
a certain fact, and it is immediately accepted as scientific knowledge,
no such action can occur in psychology. The uncertainty of subjective
verification is the trouble, and the most important step that can be
made to-day is a clearly defined basis for an exact verification. That
one party should claim there is a feeling of relation, and another that
there is no such feeling, marks a crudeness in the most general matters,
and points to psychology being about where physiology was when the
circulation of the blood was in debate.

But, say the experimental psychologists, subjective verification is
impossible; psychology, if it is to become a science, must, like the
other sciences, resort to the laboratory, and by definite and exact
experiments produce the facts to order, study them by the most approved
instruments, and obtain with certainty a knowledge of their laws. Now it
is sufficiently easy to experiment on light, sound, and on plant growth
in a laboratory, but how can we make consciousness to order with the
same certainty? how can we know when we have got a consciousness, what
kind it is, etc., except by subjective verification? You certainly
cannot see the consciousness or touch it; but you must wholly rely on
the subjective report of the individual experimented on as verified by
your own consciousness. We have no impassive agent entirely under our
control, except in hypnosis, and we cannot secure conditions with the
same exactness in testing the intensity of some form of consciousness,
as anger, as in testing the tensile strength of iron.

In the physical laboratory we produce certain conditions and we get
invariably certain observable and measurable results, but in a
psychological laboratory how shall I get with certainty a definite
consciousness in a large number of cases and formulate its law? How
shall I know at a given moment that the mental act of the agent is what
my experiment requires? Moreover, does not experimental psychology by
beginning with human consciousness enter rashly upon a very complex
field? If it would get results, let it start with the simpler mental
life, just as biology has founded itself in a study of simplest
elements. But how shall psychology get at the consciousness of a clam
with the same exactness as biology investigates the circulation of blood
in the clam? It is plain, in short, that if we are to have a fruitful
experimental psychology, some very important questions of method must
first be settled. A method of getting psychoses to order, to obtain the
exact reaction required, and knowing and realizing what it is when got,
this is a _desideratum_ not yet attained. Further, we must remark that
experimentation is itself a psychic act, and sense of experimentation is
a disturbing factor in results; that is, a consciousness which is
conscious of being experimented on is thereby complicated over mere
observation method. This is markedly the case in self-experimentation.
Consciousness is not, like an electric current or a sound wave, an
objective fact, readily reproducible in the laboratory. And again ethics
may interfere with psychical experiment. How far have we a right to
incite psychosis for experiment’s sake? How far may psychical
vivisection be carried in the name of science? A scientist who should
for his own study make an animal or person angry, would be reprobated as
would the artist who should incite anger in his model in order to catch
artistic effect. However, that there is a vast scope for experimental
psychology cannot be denied, and we may expect an indefinite
multiplication of artificial psychoses and combinations comparable to
the artificial syntheses and new compounds of the chemical laboratory.
Mind may develop and act merely on the scientific motive, and accomplish
by _tour de force_ a complex field of artificial consciousness quite
distinct in origin and nature from natural consciousness. But for the
present, at least, we regard not experiment but observation as the main
method. Not laboratory, but field work, is most needed. The psychical
scientist must go psychologizing, as the botanist goes botanizing. But
there is no simple objective method as in botany. In order to have
insight and interpretative power, there must be constant
self-observation. He can know the real nature, conditions, and laws of
other minds only so far as he realizes them in himself. If he has never
feared, he will never know fear, and if he has never analyzed his own
fear, he will not know its factors as occurring in others. All external
consciousness is but a projection from the observer’s own consciousness.

But it may be said that mind is but a kind of neural function, and that
physiological psychology will give us the true key to consciousness. But
if one has never known any psychosis, as fear, directly in himself and
indirectly in others, how will he find it in any nerve activities?
Nervous activities are significant of psychosis only so far as psychosis
is already known. In fact, the sciences of neurosis and psychosis are
radically distinct. I stick a pin in my finger, the facts of pain,
volition, anger, etc., are of one order knowable only by introspection,
the nerve excitation, current and reaction are of another order,
constitute a complete circle, and are known only by inspection.
Neurology in its own field can afford to ignore psychosis, for it does
not find it: it finds only neural changes, and psychology likewise can
afford to ignore physiology. These sciences stand self-sufficient, and
may develop indefinitely each in its own way without meeting. Divide and
conquer. The present mingling of the two is greatly to be deplored. Thus
in current books we often find such sentences as this: “The prevalent
view hitherto has probably been that the same nervous apparatus which on
moderate excitement produces sensations of pressure or temperature,
produces feelings of pain when irritated with increased intensity.”
(Ladd, _Outlines Physiological Psychology_, p. 387.)

This confusing of objective and subjective terms, sensation and
irritation, is but too frequent in recent treatises. There is no way yet
found of discovering psychic facts in neural, or neural in psychic,
whatever may be their connection and interdependence. If we must have a
cross-interpretation, the psychologist has the vantage-ground on the
basis of evolution by struggle. _Nisus_ has developed all sense and
motor organs and all nervous organs. It is the effort at seeing that has
produced the optic nerve and the physiological function of sight. The
vision and visual organ of the eagle came by incessant looking for prey
during thousands of years. Hence mind is not reflex or concomitant of
nerve, but nerve is outgrowth of mind in the struggle of existence, and
a psychological physiology is better than a physiological psychology.

The psychological field is then first, self; second, other selves or
individuals. In this latter phase of human psychology we have the
psychology of adults, then adolescent, senile, infantile, sexual, and
racial psychology. In sub-human or comparative psychology we include
animals, wild and tame, also all discussion on plant psychism, mind
stuff (_e.g._ Clifford’s), etc. In superhuman psychology we include all
doctrine of cosmic intelligence, teleology (_vide_ _Mind_, x. 420).

We have limited ourselves to evolutionary psychology and that of the
feelings, and our data are mostly from adult human consciousness.
Evolutionary psychology bases itself on the idea that mental development
originates and is continued through struggle or will effort. Such
evidence as we can gather points to feeling, impelled exertion as the
essence of psychic evolution, and it proves fruitful when assumed as a
guiding principle. And the principle of struggle is final. We cannot
admit with Bain a principle of spontaneity. The activities of a new-born
lamb are seemingly spontaneous only because they are the results of
energies stored in ages of psychic effort. This doctrine of struggle
does away with all impressionism and all passivity theories. Mind is not
a receptivity, an association of impressions, a reflex or concomitant of
physiological activities, but it is dynamic determining vital fact, an
active response to the conditions of self-existence. This impetus of
struggle and striving seems to feed all life and make life, and has its
place, perhaps the highest in the dynamic whole we term the universe.
While the significance of struggle is a question for philosophy, yet, as
matter of fact, it is the only method of realization we know; and the
office of humanity is the providing a wider and higher scope for
struggle, the making new and independent life regions. Science and art,
ethics and religion, which are at bottom only phases of emotionalism,
are with utmost toil developed for themselves, and new emotions now
arising and yet to arise will be cherished for their own sakes. Mind
begins and continues long as the servant of the body, it ends by making
the body its servant, the instrument of the spiritual life, the temple
of the Holy Ghost; but all its evolution is through supreme effort. In
the spiritual evolution he who loveth his life shall lose it, he whose
struggle is in the primitive stage, namely, for material existence,
loses thereby the real life, the life of the spirit.

It is possible, indeed, that we may over-estimate this salient fact of
struggle, and certainly, in the present state of psychology, modesty is
most commendable. We would be far from assuming that the horizon of our
mind is the limit of the universe. However, assuming mind as a
biological function continually evolving in the service of
self-conservation and self-furtherance, our endeavour has been to point
out the general trend of the evolution of feeling, and to analyze some
of its more important features. The little exploration we have made
suggests the greatness of the unexplored field of mind, the vast number
of psychoses unknown, and perhaps unknowable. The difficulties of the
subjective method make it seem almost impossible to trace a complete
history of mind. For mind to return over and realize its whole growth in
all its ramifications seems quite as hard as to develop new forms, or a
whole region of artificial psychosis. In the filling up of missing
links, psychology presents vastly greater difficulties than biology
because of its subjectivity of method and the evanescent nature of the
facts. Further, the more I analyze consciousness, the more I am
convinced of the great and often unexpected complexity of apparently
simple forms, and I am satisfied then the simplicity and completeness of
the system-making psychologists, physiological or idealistic, is
factitious and delusive. An inductive science of mind is yet in its
infancy. My conclusion that mind was at first, and is always as
progressive, feeling-impelled will, and that sensing arose as secondary,
as useful cognitive effort, is simply the best reading I can make from
present data when assuming the current doctrine of evolution.

A very important point, which needs to be worked out more fully than we
have been able to do, is as to the nature of revival as involving
emotion. Sense of re-experience and of the experienceable is one of the
most important acquisitions of mind. The self-consolidation and
organization of experience certainly does not come in the first place by
any mechanical association, but we must assume that all mental progress
is the result of the most intense, though often blind and fortuitous
striving. But just how the return of an experience is cognized as
_return_ and as _experience_, and so becoming basis for emotion, this is
a most difficult inquiry on which we have made but a few remarks in the
chapter on the nature of emotion. Just when and how sense of experience
is generated, and what is a full analysis of its nature, must be
postponed to some future study, but I am convinced that a very fruitful
field for investigation lies in this direction. Experience certainly
does at a very early stage become compound, become self-appreciative in
some form, as sense of the potentiality of things, but the elucidation
of progress in this line is confronted by many difficulties. The history
of ideation or representation as a power for self-conservation has yet
to be traced with definiteness and completeness.

Another point, which needs a far fuller discussion than we can now give,
is as to the nature of organic interaction in consciousness, as to the
real quality of psychic cause and effect. We have all along assumed
feeling as stimulant of will, both the will to know and the will to act,
but just how does feeling develop will as struggling effort? What is the
exact mode of connection? We conceive readily of physical impact as
determining effects in the material world, and we conceive a
transference and transmutation of energy, but in the psychic realm we
have no entities as permanent existences susceptible of entering into
relation with other entities. How then does a pain incite a will
activity? A peculiar form of consciousness we term will activity does
directly follow upon feeling pain, and, within limits, the greater the
pain, the greater the willing, but we have no theory to express the mode
of connection of these consciousnesses. All that we can say is that one
does follow upon the other as somehow caused by it. Yet it is certain
that the limitation of conscious capacity must in every individual
determine a definite range of interaction, and, beyond some particular
point, the more I feel, the less I will, and _vice versâ_. But the
phenomenon of interference is likewise as obscure as that of excitation.
The development of distinct organic forms of consciousness is slowly
carried forward, and they exercise a definite dynamic relation to each
other, though the mode is as yet wholly obscure. Thus the largest
subdivisions of consciousness, knowing, feeling, and willing, become
determined as distinct organically related modes, like the nervous,
nutritive-circulatory and motor systems forming one organic whole body.
These psychic modes attain gradually an intricate and definite
development, whose constant interdependent connection with an individual
body we term a “mind.” And we must remark that this vital relation of
one consciousness and one form of consciousness to another is in no wise
effected through apperception, through a third distinct consciousness, a
cognitive one, which unites them in idea. A feeling excited a will act
long before there was consciousness of either, or of their relation. In
general we must say that consciousness does not consciously forge for
itself its own relations, but that in by far the larger part of psychic
development new modes of consciousness and their inter-relations come in
a totally unforeseen way, by a blind striving in the struggle for
existence. It may be doubted, indeed, if even the most advanced human
mind can really invent a new consciousness or a new relation in
consciousness, but by intense effort it attains them. One of the
obscurest points in biology is as to the nature and cause of
morphological variation, and the subject of mental variation is for
psychological science far more obscure. We presuppose that mental
variations somehow arise in response to sudden and great emergencies,
and in connection with the severest effort. Mental progress is, in all
the earlier life at least, only achieved under pressure of intense pain
actually experienced or ideally so,—emotion—and in some way an
appropriate and saving psychosis as response of organism to environment
originates. This new form may be indistinct, and proceed as a gradual
differentiation from previous types, still the method of action of the
motive force seems mysterious. We can see, indeed, the advantage which
accrues, for example, to the animal which is first able to detect danger
or nutriment by scent, but just the method of the rise and progress of
scenting as a conscious process seems difficult to trace. We cannot say
that power of smell arose because organs of smell were developed; this
puts the cart before the horse. It is the struggle to sense that is the
prime motive force in developing the sense organs and not _vice versâ_.
We do not smell because we have noses, but we have noses because we
smell. That the sense of smell is a differentiated general sensation is
likely enough, but we are unable to follow the steps. We know that the
higher development of our present senses is attained only through great
exertion, which determines a physical basis and organic progress—as in
microscopy, telescopy, and so-called mind-reading—and if humanity is to
develop in the future an electric sense or a telepathic sense, it must
be reached by the intense struggle of a very few. We must believe that
every mode of mind is at bottom but some modification of pre-existing
forms, and it may be that as all modes of the material are interpretable
in motion, so the manifold mental may be equally resolvable into some
one type. Yet so far as we can now see, feeling, will, and cognition
seem radically and primitively distinct. The missing links in mental
evolution are most difficult to determine, for, as we have often
remarked, while we can with comparative ease both determine fossil
organic forms _a priori_ and discover as realities, the intermediate
mental forms can only be known through a subjective realization.

It does not help us to ascribe the advantageous variation to chance, a
word, indeed, which does not belong to the dictionary of science, for it
is but a cover to ignorance. Chance means that the determinate line of
causes is hidden from the observer, who only knows that one of several
results will take place. Chance is thus wholly relative; the gambling of
savages is often calculable to the European, and so every affair of
chance, as dice throwing, might be calculable to a superior intelligence
who could compute or watch every turn of the dice. Chance, then, does
not reside in the outward thing, is not a property of phenomena, but is
wholly a subjective limitation of the investigating mind, hence to
ascribe variation, physical or psychical, to chance is simply to
objectivise our own imperfect cognition. The pre-supposition of all
science is that every event or change has its definite determining
antecedents, and that these are cognizable; hence the doctrine of chance
has no place in any complete and real science of phenomena. That
organism is, indeed, fortunate, which first achieves some notable and
valuable psychic mode, but this good fortune does not in any wise come
by chance, or by the passive enjoyment of concurrent favourable
circumstances, but it is a well-earned superiority attained only by the
severest and most patient responsive struggle, and there in every case a
determinate series of steps in mental process which may ultimately be

Mental forms also arise through perversion, competitors perverting
originally advantageous variations, as has been already pointed out for
paralysing-fear, sense-destroying anger, etc. Atavistic tendency gives
pseudo-variations. Certain mental forms may be negative in origin, that
is, merely reactionary from previous states. Given a high degree of any
joyous emotion, say hope, and suddenly remove its conditions, and the
swing is back beyond the zero point of emotion to actual negative
emotion, as despair. Still the whole gamut from positive to negative, as
from highest hope to deepest despair, is but a single generic emotion
form of polar correlate elements, which have equally developed through

The subject of psychic intensity in general, and feeling intensity in
particular, is likewise obscure and difficult. Physical intensity is
comparatively easy to investigate in its nature and laws. For instance,
in the case of light we clearly conceive its nature in terms of
molecular motion, we measure it exactly by photometers, and we know it
to proceed by the law of inverse squares. We have no similar certainty
and clearness with regard to mental intensity. We speak of suffering
very slight or very intense pains, but there is no scientific theory or
valuation of psychic intensity. Mere physical intensity does not explain
psychic, and we know that variations in rapidity of ether waves, for
example, give, not quantitative, but qualitative psychic variations. 640
billion vibrations are felt subjectively as the comparatively feeble
colour blue, while 450 billion gives the striking and intense colour,
red. It is only within a certain range and with certain forms of forces
that Weber’s law of geometric and arithmetic increase applies.

Strictly speaking, we cannot apply quantitative conceptions to
consciousness, inasmuch as mind has no spatiality which is the basis of
idea of quantity and size. Hence the use of quantitative terms, like
great, large, small, little, etc., is an indirect reference to
intensity. I was in very great pain equals I was in very intense pain.
No consciousness is literally either larger or smaller than another,
because consciousnesses cannot, by reason of their non-spatial nature,
enter into quantitative relations. So-called massive pains are really
manifold. (See on this and kindred points my remarks in _Nature_, vol.
40, p. 642.)

A popular test of mental intensity, and one which has a relative value,
is by the power needed to displace a given psychosis. Thus, if a man in
a brown study walks into a pond of cold water without noticing it, we
rightly conclude that he is thinking very intensely. This, of course
establishes a scale relative to the individual, beginning with a
psychosis which resists all displacing agencies, and ending with those
of such very slight intensity that they give way to any and all
diversions. A consciousness which supplants another must _per se_ be
more intense than the other. All that which rouses and diverts patients
suffering from monomania and fixed ideas is practically equal in
intensity. While we may thus pronounce one state as being equal in
intensity to another or as being more or less intense than it, we yet
have no ground for any numerical estimate. When a person says, “I feel
twice as bad as I did yesterday, or I feel a hundred times as happy now
as I was a year ago,” it is plainly a general and indefinite expression.
Emotions have not yet been brought within the range of mathematical

The intensity of feelings, as also of sensations, sustains undoubtedly
certain mathematical relations to intensity of objective stimulus, but
owing to their complex nature, emotions, at least, must always be very
difficult of interpretation by any such law as Weber’s, though simple
pain may be brought more easily under some law. A pain, _other things
being equal_, increases in some ratio to increment of physical stimulus.
But we must believe that the reason for the diversity between proportion
of actual increments of stimulus and actual increments of sensation and
feeling is largely physiological. It certainly is not a true
psycho-physical law, a law of relation of mind and matter, as is often
claimed; for we cannot obtain an absolutely objective standard to test
subjectivity. Hence any such law is merely a law of relation of
different kinds of sensations, of different methods of interpreting the
objective. Intensity of stimulus itself is always determinable only
through some sensation, which is itself subject to Weber’s law. There is
no objective standard for sense stimuli; the measure of increasing
stimulus to increasing sensation must be by some sense which has its own
law with reference to physical increment as interpreted by another sense
equally under law, and so on. Take pressure, for instance; we note by
sense of _sight_ the arm of a balance reacting regularly and constantly
to definite small additions to load, while upon our own arm we do not
notice the same additions in any such series of feeling of pressure
increments. The arm and balance as disparate weighers must, of course,
be in certain ratios related, and for a certain range we must have a
geometrical series, but other ratios at other points.

That the degree of sensitivity is proportioned to the intensity of
sensation already present, that the knock at the door must be the louder
the more noise is going on within, is a defect in organic measurement,
but it is not entirely absent in mechanical; scales which weigh by the
ton do not respond easily or at all to minute weights. But, abstractly
speaking, mechanic methods are in general far superior to organic; a
fine balance weighs better than any arm, and a good camera pictures
better than the best eye; that is, their ratio of discriminating
sensibility is far greater than natural organs, and it may be as
geometric series to arithmetic series. Practically, however, organic
weighing and seeing are well adjusted to the demands of life. An
appreciation of gravity, so far as it is of use to the organism, is
secured, and if a finer sensibility were demanded it would be attained.
That is, I am inclined to believe that the Weber-Fechner law of definite
mathematical proportions is purely empirical, and does not mark a real
limit or a fundamental psycho-physical law. If a man’s life and living
depended on it, he could become a good weighing machine, and in time a
race of organic weighers might be raised up which should vie in accuracy
and range with the best scales now constructed. The quotient of
sensitiveness is really indefinitely variable. It is probable, indeed,
that deep sea organisms have a discriminative sensibility for both
gravity and light far more delicate than the acutest human sense.

The whole subject of measurement of mental intensities must evidently be
approached with the greatest care, and the diversities of researches in
results and in their interpretation, is evidence that we have not
completely isolated the facts we are in search of. Conscious
experimentation must be allowed as tending to disturb sense. When
attention is strained to marking sense increments it may very easily be
deluded, and wrongly suppose as to feeling or not feeling. Consciousness
is by no means infallible as to its own acts, and especially when
artificial. Feelings may, and often do, originate subjectively by
suggestion, and hence may have no direct reference to the external cause
which is under experimental manipulation.

And not only have we thus to guard against a strong tendency to
introspective and apperceptive error as to what we actually experience,
or how we experience, but we have also to constantly bear in mind that
every experience, every sensing, as of pressure, light, etc., is not an
isolated phenomenon, but as resting upon and involving the past, it can
never be a simple direct measure of the objective present, as a given
weight or light. Every conscious experience, like all other vital
organic phenomena, has thus an individuality and differs from every
other as every leaf differs from every other, and so the laws of
experience are capable only of general expression. Since all
consciousness is self-integrating and brings up the past into itself, it
is always more than any occasional reflection of a present phenomenon;
in the finest analysis every consciousness must have an equation of its

However, there is a quotient of relation of physical stimulus,
mechanically measured, with increase and decrease of both sense and of
pleasure-pain. The pack-carrier feels in a certain proportion to his
present load pressure of weight-increments, and pressure pains also
augment, though probably not in strict corresponding ratio. It is a
popular saying that the last straw breaks the camel’s back, and it is
certain that pains rapidly culminate. It is probable that increments
which may not be sensed may yet be felt as pain. In fact, it is but very
gradually that sense of pressure is evolved as practically free of pain;
as a mere cognitive process it is always secondary to pleasure-pain
states which are felt directly from weights or but slightly objectified.
Pleasure-pain which proceeds from weights gradually is driven to sensing
them—the evolution of the pressure sense—and to noting variations, sense
increments, and if, like marine organisms, we ranged through pressure
zones, the significance of discriminative sensibility might be very

However, it is obvious that in its rise and in its whole evolution,
pleasure-pain is bound up with the pressure sense, but not with the arm
of the balance as a record. Hence it is possible that Weber’s law, so
far as applicable, is in some measure a result of feeling interference.
The simplicity of direct reaction is being destroyed by the hedonalgic
law disturbing the direct ratio; we may thus feel an increasing pain
from increasing weights, and have decreasing pressure sense. Beyond a
certain point the law of increments, with reference to external standard
for sensing and for pleasure and pain are in inverse ratio. On a very
hot day we notice more and more strongly each additional degree of heat
by the temperature sense, but beyond a certain degree, peculiar to the
individual at the time, sense of heat will rapidly diminish as heat
increases, and with increase of pain.

As to the number of feelings, of qualitatively distinct states, we must
on a general doctrine of evolution pronounce this to be innumerable and
indefinite. The present forms of feeling in human consciousness of
course represent but a small fraction of the total number which have
arisen in the course of psychic evolution. Every distinct form implies a
long evolution of intermediate types which are now for the most part
beyond our realization and so beyond cognition. The process of naming
affords some slight clue to the importance and multiformity of feeling,
though this denotes only a few of the most obvious points which have
impressed themselves on the popular mind. Certainly the most striking
fact to ordinary introspection, human and sub-human, is feeling, and the
manifold variety of simple pleasure-pains and of emotions has always,
and will always, attract most strongly the general attention. It would
be a most interesting and profitable study to follow the course of
language in its denotation of feeling. Varied expression for varied
feelings is gradually achieved in vocal forms, which expressions become
a language sense to denote the feeling expressed. Thus the hoarse bellow
of rage will both express and denote rage. The vocal expression form as
imitated is the earliest language form, and only very gradually does
language assume the mechanical and arbitrary forms of its highest
development. It is by imitating being mad vocally and otherwise, and
pointing to the angered one, that the savage conveys the idea of anger.
Gradually all but the vocal expression is dropped, and this
conventionalized, becomes the origin of the word to denote the emotion
in question. Feeling and emotion names are doubtless in their origin
debased vocal expression forms, though in the later evolution of
language this is generally not detectable, and various other more
indirect associations control language. Only states of consciousness
which have attained a considerable force and prominence receive notice
in the vocabulary of common speech. For many variances of feeling there
is no word denotation, but it may be given by intonation. The number of
names of feeling is thus in any language, or in all languages, but a
very rough index to the actual number of kinds of feeling, and we may
expect that a thorough scientific analysis will develop as extended
scientific nomenclature of feeling, as chemistry has of kinds of matter.
At the present crude stage of psychology we must affirm that the number
of cognizable, but unnamed feelings, far exceeds the number of the
named, and that the number of the undiscriminated or the undiscovered
feelings far exceeds the number of both forms.

On the whole, it has been the object of our present studies to point out
with some definiteness the extent and mode of the early differentiation
of feeling. Owing to the peculiar difficulties which beset this form of
study and to which we have often adverted, our conclusions may seem
rather meagre and uncertain, but it is sufficient if they emphasize a
region of introspective study, which, though of the utmost practical
importance, is yet the most neglected of all in psychic science; and we
hope to have set forth the most probable general order of mental
evolution with some distinctness as based on the struggle of existence.
Mind, beginning in pure pain, and culminating on the feeling side in the
higher emotions, contains an intermediate, continuous, indefinite number
of forms, determined by the demands of life and preserved by natural
selection, many of which are so entirely outgrown that they may be for
ever beyond human conception, and many occurring only occasionally in
human consciousness as survivals, and a large, yet comparatively small
number constituting the present evolution phase of feeling in human
consciousness. We have dwelt specially on the lower developments, the
rise of objectification and its nature, the rise and value of emotion,
with some characterization of the simpler and earlier emotions. Emotion
is superior to and supplants sensation, though based thereon. The poison
I fear, I abstain from without tasting; but with lower psychisms there
must be a direct sensing of the thing before its experience quality is

Must we not suppose that feeling and emotion is destined to be an
evanescent form in the evolution of mind? Is not the emotional type
gradually disappearing, and will not the men of the future be pure
indifferentists? Or are we rather to judge that emotion will always
continue to strengthen and deepen? In an intellectual and introspective
age like our own the naïve mental life, which is primitive and merely
natural, vanishes, and we find that men everywhere, like Kenyon, in
Howell’s novel, _The Undiscovered Country_ are constantly destroying
their feelings by pulling them up by the roots to see what they are and
why they are. Such are only occasionally surprised into a genuine
emotion, but they greet it with joy, and forthwith pull it to pieces in
a morbid self-analysis. An indifferentism, born of intellectual
curiosity, of scepticism or of pessimism, is, in fact, a pathological
state, a certain mono-emotionalism, for humanity cannot escape
emotionalism if it _would_. This _blasé_ way of looking at things and
_feeling_ about them, is a decadent symptom in an artificial age. The
struggle of life in a natural state always demands a varied, prompt, and
frank emotionalism. If mind lose its love of things and men, it may yet
be moved to highest attainment by sentiments like the love of science
and truth. An intense intellectual life must be driven to its
strugglings and achievements by some strong motive power, some powerful
emotion, though this may be purely impersonal, like the conviction of
duty, or the love of truth. Feeling as the fundamental element in mind,
as the very core of mentality, as the force which actuates both will and
cognition, can never be destroyed, and for the future progress of mind,
as for the past, we are assured that feeling and emotion will not cease
to become ever stronger, deeper, and nobler.


               In the following index, for pages
               100-332, subtract four; pages 332-390,
               subtract five.


NOTE.—The letter _m_ affixed to a page number signifies the middle third
of the page; the letter _b_ signifies the bottom third of the page; no
letter being affixed, the top third of the page is referred to.

 Æsthetic psychosis, 299, 329, 373_m_.

 ALLEN, GRANT, 42, 301_b_, 303_m_.

 Altruism, 119_b_, 340_b_, 348_m_.

 Anger, 131, 369_b_.

 Apperception, 246_m_, 251.

 Arrogance, 279.

 Attention, 229.

 Awe, 123.

 BAIN, 49, 175, 223_b_, 381_b_.

 BALDWIN, J. M., 263.

 Belief, 220_m_.

 BLAIR, 315.

 BOSANQUET, 373_m_.

 Cause and effect in consciousness, 384.

 Chance, 386_m_.

 Change and consciousness, 23.

 Characteristic, emotion for, 334_b_.

 Christianity, 164_b_, 187.

 Comic, the, 371.

 COMTE, 28.

 Conceit, 278, 279_b_.

 Consciousness, function of, 167.

 _Continua_, 73.

 Craving, 207_b_.

 Curiosity, 218_b_.

 DARWIN, 301_b_, 341, 352_b_, 353_m_, 357, 366_m_.

 Desire, 196.

 Despair, 125.

 Desperation, 126_b_.

 DEWEY, J., 357, note.

 Differentiation of consciousness, 151_m_.

 Dignity, 280.

 Disappointment, 169.

 Dismay, 127.

 Drama, 372_m_

 Dread, 119.

 Dream life and self consciousness, 269.

 Education and desire, 228.

 _Ego_, 234_b_.

 Embarrassment, 281_m_.

 Emotion, 78.
   _rationale_ of, 81.
   analysis of, 82.
   retrospective, 180, 383_m_.
   classification of, 180.
   future of, 394_m_.

 _Ennui_, 216_b_.

 Ethical emotion, 337.

 Evil, problem of, 157.

 Evolution, antithetic mental, 271, 385.

 Exasperation, 162_m_.

 Excitement, 49.

 Expression, 303, 350.

 Familiarity, emotion of, 177.

 Fear, 91, 354, 369_b_.
   of fear, 89.

 FECHNER, 310_b_.

 Feeling, psychology of imperfect, 2.
   and subjective method, 7.
   and pleasure-pain, 48.
   definition of, 58, 76_b_.
   number of feelings, 392_m_.

 Fine Art, 363_m_, 373.

 Hate, 147_m_.

 Hedonalgic, 177, note.

 Hedonism, 41_b_, 204_b_.

 HÖFFDING, 29, 201_m_.

 Hope, 220_m_, 169_b_.

 Horror, 121_b_.

 HOWELLS, W. D., quoted, 327.

 HUME, 262_b_.

 Humility, 283_b_.

 Imagination, 311.

 Imitation, 53, 368_m_.

 Impulse, 224_b_.

 Indignation, 162_b_.

 Induction, 210, 211, 286.

 Inhibition, 242_b_.

 Integration of consciousness, 79.

 Intellectual emotion, 295_b_.

 Intensity, 38_m_, 49, 231_b_, 387_b_.

 Interest, 224_b_, 247, 270_b_.

 JAMES, W., 237_b_, 239, 364_b_.

 JOHNSON, W. E., 54.

 Knowledge, origin of, 61, 95_m_, 263_b_, 267.

 LANDOR, W. S., quoted, 279_m_.

 Laokoön group, 374.

 Lotze, 42.

 Malice, 162b.

 MARSHALL, H. R., 28, 40_b_, 306_m_.

 MASON, F. A., 56.

 MERCIER, 142.

 Method of psychology, 4, 133, 152, 362_b_, 376.

 MILL, J. S., 286_b_.

 Moral sense, 337.

 Novelty, feeling of, 170.

 Optimism, 193_b_.

 Pain, knowledge of, 8.
   primitive mind, 13.
   and tension, 35.
   and sensation, 37.

 Panic, 122_m_.

 Perception, origin of, 70.

 PEREZ, 337.

 Pessimism, 193_b_.

 Play, 303_b_, 355_m_, 369_m_.

 Pleasure, evolution of, 14.
   function of, 44_b_.
   as bad term, 204.

 Pleasure-Pain and sensation, 62, 196.
   as quality, 38.
   physiological theory, 41_b_.

 PREYER, 17_b_.

 Pride, 273_b_.

 Psychology, imperfectness of, 1, 133, 152, 203_b_.
   and evolution, 59, 381_b_.
   experimental, 378.
   physiological, 380.

 Quantity in consciousness, 388.

 Recognition, 171_b_.

 Regret, 195.

 Remorse, 195.

 Representation, 278.

 Resignation, 195.

 Retrospective emotion, 180.

 Revenge, 183_b_.

 Self-feeling, 255.
   consciousness, 255.
     and dream life, 269.
   satisfaction, 280_b_.

 Senile psychology, 28.

 Sexual emotion, 299_b_.

 Shame, 282_b_.

 Shelley quoted, 320, 324.

 SIDGWICK, H., 201_b_.

 Sorrow, 187.

 SPENCER, HERBERT, 303_b_, 314, 320_m_, 326, 329_m_, 337_b_, 345.

 SPINOZA, 200, 201.

 Spontaneity, 381_b_.

 STEWART, D., 222_b_.

 Style, 314.

 Sub-consciousness, 32_b_.

 Surprise, 296_b_, 50, 167_b_.

 Teleologic emotion, 297_b_.

 Tentacular experience, 81.

 TITCHENER, E. B., 10.

 Variation, mental, 385.


 WARD, JAMES, 7, 22_b_, 73, 203, 232_b_, 246.

 Weber’s law, 389.

 Wonder, 296_b_.

 Wundt, 351, note.


    Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome, and London.


                           Transcriber’s Note

Hyphenation is mostly consistent. The word ‘representation’ is
frequently given as ‘re-presentation’, as a technical term. Where the
hyphen occurs at a line break, it is retained or removed based on other
instances of the word in the text.

Errors deemed most likely to be the printer’s have been corrected, and
are noted here. The references are to the page and line in the original.

  3.29     that feeling is a “strange[”] mysterious world Removed.

  4.19     through the [s]elf-observation of the human    Restored.

  9.5      that it must[ ]be in consciousness             Inserted.

  40.34    viz[.], of the neural basis                    Added.

  225.19   whether a pain[,] pleasure, perception         Inserted.

  349.25   (_Expression of the Emotions in Man and        Removed.
           Animals_, New York, 1886, p. 350[)];

  369.8    The interp[r]etation of expression             Inserted.

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